Lack of conflict prosecutor becoming a big issue per Augusta lawyer

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The Georgia Attorney General’s Office has not appointed a prosecutor to handle cases that are conflicts of interest for District Attorney Jared Williams.

The founding partner of the Hawk Firm in downtown Augusta says many of his cases are not being heard.

“We can’t get them to do anything,” said Jacque Hawk.

More than 40 clients of Hawk’s are waiting for their day in court. Many are locked up and some are serving time that will not count according to Hawk

He said, “There’s no one I can schedule a hearing because I have no opposing state’s attorney. Simply because they failed in their statutory duty to appoint one.”

A spokesperson from the Attorney General’s Office reports they identified a former prosecutor to handle the cases but insufficient funds in the Augusta Circuit to pay them caused a speed bump in the process of their appointment and now the office is continuing their search.

“Jared Williams can’t help me with this because Jared used to work in my office and that’s where the conflict comes from. He can’t prosecute cases where he’s had access to it, information in the file,” explained Haw.

Chris Carr’s Communications Director says the number of cases Williams sent to them to recuse himself is out of the ordinary and they’ve never had a conflict request of its magnitude. The Attorney General’s office received the 801-page long request letter in February.

Hawk said, “That is a ridiculous amount of time for people’s constitutional rights to be trampled on and they’re being trampled on right now, right in this very circuit.”

Williams says he has asked the AG’s office repeatedly for conflicting cases to be assigned to someone outside his office. In a statement, Williams wrote, “Everything my office can do has been done, and the ball is now in the Attorney’s General’s court. I hope the attention to this issue will further encourage them to act quickly in appointing a conflict prosecutor.”

Hawk added, “This happens all the time. This is not an unusual thing like meteor striking or something like that. This happens every time where there are elections when there’s contested DA cases and DAs are replaced. And you have to be ready for it and you have to take care of it or you have tragic situations like this.”

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