New judges sworn in for four years

The Covington News - - THE SECOND FRONT - STAFF RE­PORTS news@cov­

The judges of the Su­pe­rior Courts of the Al­covy Ju­di­cial Cir­cuit (New­ton County and Wal­ton County) were sworn in for their new four-year terms on Dec. 21, by Hon. Wil­liam M. Ray, II, of the Court of Ap­peals of Ge­or­gia, in a cer­e­mony held at the Wal­ton County Government Build­ing in Mon­roe.

Judge John M. Ott has served as Su­pe­rior Court judge since his ap­point­ment by Gov­er­nor Joe Frank Har­ris on Aug. 16, 1990, and was re-elected to his lat­est term this year. He pre­vi­ously served as the District At­tor­ney for the Al­covy Ju­di­cial Cir­cuit from 1984 un­til he was ap­pointed to the bench.

Judge Sa­muel D. Ozburn was ini­tially ap­pointed to the bench on Dec. 20, 1995, and has since been re-elected with­out op­po­si­tion. Judge Ozburn prac­ticed law in Cov­ing­ton from 1976 un­til he was ap­pointed to the bench by Gov­er­nor Zell Miller.

Judge Ho­race J. John­son, Jr., was ini­tially ap­pointed on Sept. 3, 2002, and has also been re-elected with­out op­po­si­tion since his ini­tial ap­point­ment by Gov­er­nor Roy Barnes. He had pre­vi­ously prac­ticed law in Cov­ing­ton and De­catur for 20 years.

Judge Eu­gene M. Ben­ton was elected as Su­pe­rior Court judge with­out op­po­si­tion in 2004, and his first term be­gan on Jan. 1, 2005. He has since been re-elected with­out op­po­si­tion. Judge Ben­ton prac­ticed law for 23 years be­fore tak­ing the bench. Judge Wil­liam Ken­dall Wynne, Jr., was

ap­pointed to the bench on July 1, 2010, by Gov­er­nor Sonny Per­due and was elected to his cur­rent term this year with­out op­po­si­tion. He served as As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney of the Al­covy Ju­di­cial Cir­cuit from 1988 to 2001 when he was elected as District At­tor­ney.

The oath of of­fice and loy­alty oath were ad­min­is­tered to each judge by Judge Wil­liam M. Ray, II, of Gwin­nett County who was ap­pointed to the Ge­or­gia Court of Ap­peals on July 30, 2012, by Gov- er­nor Nathan Deal. “As an at­tor­ney who prac­ticed in Gwin­nett County, and who served on the Su­pe­rior Court there, I am aware of the ex­cel­lent bench that serves the Al­covy Ju­di­cial Cir­cuit. It was ex­cit­ing for me to be able to ad­min­is­ter the oath of of­fice to th­ese fine judges,” Judge Ray said at the end of the cer­e­mony.

More in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing the Al­covy Cir- cuit and the Su­pe­rior Courts, in­clud­ing court cal­en­dars, ju­di­cial ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams for area schools, and judge bi­ogra­phies, is avail­able on the cir­cuit web­site at­covy­cir­

Judges from left: Judge Ho­race J. John­son, Jr.; Judge Wil­liam Ken­dall Wynne, Jr.; Judge Eu­gene M. Ben­ton; Judge Wil­liam M. Ray, II; Judge Sa­muel D. Ozburn; Judge John M. Ott.

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