Judge allowed to recuse herself from Columbia County judicial split case

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COLUMBIA COUNTY (WJBF) – The judge assigned to preside over the hearings involving a split that would allow Columbia County to form its own judicial circuit, has been allowed to recuse herself from the case.

In an order approved Monday, Senior Judge Gail Tusan will no longer preside over the case because of a conflict of interest surrounding another case out of Fulton County.

The motion for recusal was filed by Burke County attorney Barry Fleming and the temporary restraining is good for 30 days after issuance.

There is no word on the name of another judge who would be assigned to the case.  Augusta attorney, Willie Saunders, has filed a suit against Columbia County and Governor Brian Kemp to halt the split.  

Governor Kemp signed the bill, Senate bill 9, allowing for the split to take place on July 1.  

Saunders says, Columbia County’s move to break off from Richmond and Burke Counties is a violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and would disenfranchise voters. 

The Black Lives Matter movement has also filed suit against Columbia County and Governor Brian Kemp to prevent the judicial split.

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