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February 1, 2013

Answer: Bass did not act corruptly, dishonestly

THOMASVILLE — A Grady County judge who is be tried in March before the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) has filed an answer to a JQC document alleging 13 violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

An answer filed on behalf of J. William Bass Sr., State Court of Grady County judge, says Bass is not perfect, but he did not intentionally violate his oath of office, tried to temper justice with mercy and did not act corruptly or dishonestly.

The answer, filed by Rossville attorney Christopher A. Townley, asks that if discipline is necessary, Bass allowed to continue to serve as State Court judge.

 The JQC is chaired by Judge John Allen, chief judge of the Chattahochee Judicial Circuit in Columbus. Other members include two other judges, three lawyers appointed by the State Bar of Georgia and two non-lawyer members of the public appointed by the governor.

The Bass JQC trial is scheduled for the first week in March in Atlanta. Such trials usually take place at the Georgia Court of Appeals.

The JQC acts as a finder of facts and makes recommendations to the Georgia Supreme Court, which will issue a final decision.

Jeff Davis, JQC director, said Supreme Court action could range from dismissal of charges, to confidential reprimand to removal and never able to hold judicial office in the future.

“Trials are rare at the JQC,” Davis explained.

Read the rest  of the story in Saturday's edition.

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