Friday, May 29, 2015

Attorney for Rockdale Probate Court Judge Mays says case has been dismissed

Rockdale County Probate Court Judge Charles K. Mays Sr.
CONYERS — Defense attorney Gary Washington announced at a press conference Tuesday morning that a case he says has unfairly tarnished the reputation of a judge has come to a close.

Washington said the case brought against Rockdale County Probate Court Judge Charles K. Mays Sr., which he described as “a legal temper tantrum at the expense of Rockdale County,” has been dismissed in DeKalb County Superior Court at the request of plaintiff Freya Pearson and her attorney, Michael Waldrop.

“It is finished; it is over; it is done,” said Washington.

However, when contacted later Tuesday morning, Waldrop said the case isn’t over — it is simply changing venue.

“The Application for Issuance of Arrest Warrants was dismissed without prejudice at the suggestion of (DeKalb County) Judge Linda Hunter,” said Waldrop in an emailed response. “She opined that matters like this are routinely heard and should be heard in Magistrate Court — not Superior Court. I will be refiling the application with the same allegations in Rockdale Magistrate Court this week.”

Mays’ legal feud with Pearson stretches back to last fall and centers on Pearson’s claim that Mays failed to pay her nearly $20,000 for work she did for the Probate Court. As a result, Waldrop, who is representing Pearson pro bono, filed an application to have Mays arrested on felony counts of theft of services, theft by deception and first degree forgery.

A hearing on the warrant application was held in Hunter’s DeKalb County courtroom in April, at which time Washington made a motion to have the warrant application dismissed claiming that Waldrop had a conflict of interest in serving as Pearson’s attorney. Waldrop is the city attorney for Conyers and prosecutes traffic cases for the city. At the time, Pearson had an outstanding traffic citation.

After some discussion, Hunter allowed Waldrop to research the conflict of interest matter and submit a brief.

On Tuesday, Washington said Waldrop had failed to file the brief by the deadline. He said Waldrop instead filed a pleading for dismissal of the warrant application without prejudice.

“The charges against Judge Mays were completely false,” said Washington. “The judge is innocent because he has committed no crime. The work of the court is a serious matter; our courts exist to resolve legitimate legal disputes and to maintain the rule of law. This case, however, has been nothing more than a misuse of public resources and an abuse of the judicial process for selfish motive and personal gain by an individual with a questionable character and past.”

Washington was referencing legal troubles that Pearson faces in Kansas City, Mo.

Pearson, 41, was indicted Oct. 31 on charges that she stole $480,000 in lottery winnings from an elderly woman. Pearson pleaded not guilty at her first appearance and was released on $10,000 bond.

On the other hand, said Washington, no charges have been brought against Mays in connection with the case involving Pearson, even though the county attorney, the Attorney General, the district attorney and the sheriff could have pursued charges. In addition, Washington said Mays submitted to an interview by the state’s Judicial Qualifications Commission, which did not bring formal proceedings against him.

Washington also criticized the way that Waldrop has handled the case, particularly Waldrop’s initial letter to Mays demanding that Pearson be paid.

“No matter the perceived merits of the case, the tone of that letter did not convey the proper respect due to a sitting judge,” said Washington. “No matter what one’s thoughts may be about the person occupying the office of judge, the office of judge for the people of Rockdale County should be given its due respect.”

Washington also said the case has cast a negative light on Rockdale County.

“The false charges have unjustifiably tarnished the well-earned reputation of the Rockdale legal profession, their integrity, their respect and their reputation for civility,” said Washington. “Although the claims that have been made were false, they were nevertheless an embarrassment to all the fine Rockdale County judges and attorneys who work diligently every day to maintain a reputation for excellence. More importantly, the false claims have been an embarrassment to the Rockdale County community. Sadly, claims have been made publicly that were intended to hurt and injure the judge’s family, individuals on the judge’s staff and the office of the Rockdale County Probate Court. They did not deserve this.”

Full Article & Source:
Attorney for Rockdale Probate Court Judge Mays says case has been dismissed


Kay said...

This is a real battle and I bet it's going to continue.

Laurie Bailey said...

My money is on Michael Waldrop.