Judicial watchdog agency issues statement in contested DeKalb election

The state judicial watchdog agency on Friday issued a statement seeking to correct a

DeKalb County State Court Judge Dax Lopez

potentially misleading flier circulated by DeKalb County State Court judicial candidate Roderick Bridges.

Bridges, a Decatur lawyer, is challenging incumbent Dax Lopez. Among other things, Bridges' flier notes that he is a Christian, while Lopez, who is Jewish, is not. The flier also includes a line that says "suspended," with a note that Bridges has "never" been suspended and that Lopez was blocked by a Republican after President Barack Obama nominated him last year to be a federal judge.

On Friday, Mark Dehler, director of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which oversees the judicial code of ethical conduct, said Bridges' flier infers or implies that Lopez had been suspended from the bench. Because the JQC is the only agency that can suspend judges, the agency decided to set the record straight.

"Unequivocally, Judge Lopez has never been suspended, reprimanded or otherwise sanctioned by the JQC," Dehler said.

Decatur lawyer Roderick Bridges

When asked about his flier, Bridges said it never actually said that Lopez had been suspended from the bench.

"But we did not do a good on that, making our point clear," Bridges said. "At some point in time, we'll release a statement saying we did a poor job on this mailing. I'm not a politician."

The non-partisan election is this Tuesday.

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About the Author

Bill Rankin
Bill Rankin
Bill Rankin covers criminal justice, the death penalty and legal affairs. He also hosts the AJC’s “Breakdown” podcast.