Georgia Judge Anthony Peters faces hearing on drug, misconduct charges



Anthony Peters, a north Georgia magistrate, has been charged with drug use, pointing a gun at himself in the courthouse, and berating his boss in a bizarre televised rant.

He blames his strange behavior on prescription drug abuse after a devastating ATV accident, his attorney said Thursday at a state hearing.


Catoosa County Magistrate Judge Anthony Peters started using painkillers after the 2005 accident and within a few years his behavior was so alarming that his boss tried to put him on a night shift so he could avoid most staffers, prosecutors told the Judicial Qualifications Commission.


His refusal to work the shift led to a heated argument with Chief Magistrate Sonny Caldwell and he was removed from the county courthouse in handcuffs, prosecutors said.

He then went on a local talk show, called Caldwell “spineless,” and showed off a photo of a confidential informant to the show’s viewers.”That’s a serious breach of protocol, of ethics and of commonsense,” said Joe Hendricks, a north Georgia district attorney who was tapped to try the case. “And it put people in danger.”

Defense attorney Chris Townley said Peters’ judgment was “cloudy” for a few months in 2010 while using marijuana to try to wean himself off from pain pills, but that he’s since cleaned up his act. He urged the commission to let his client keep his job.


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