New chief judge chosen for DeKalb

Superior Court Judge Tangela Barrie has been elected by her colleagues to serve a two-year term as DeKalb County's chief judge.

Barrie, 41, rotated into the position of chief judge, replacing Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams. The court's administrative rules call for the chief judge to be the most senior judge who hadn't previously taken on that role.

As chief judge, Barrie said in a statement she wants to create programs for individuals who choose to represent themselves in court without an attorney. She also said she wants to make it easier for citizens to navigate the courthouse.

The chief judge is responsible for overseeing the court's administration and representing the court in budget discussions.

Barrie was elected to the court in 2008. She previously worked as an assistant DeKalb district attorney in the domestic violence and sexual assault unit. Barrie also will serve as the chief judge of the Fourth Judicial Administrative District, which includes Rockdale County.

During Adams' two-year term, he ordered in August 2013 the public release of a special grand jury report that detailed evidence of "incompetence, patronage, fraud and cronyism" in the county's Department of Watershed Management.

Allegations in the report led to the indictment of DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, who is suspended as he faces charges that he shook down county contractors for campaign contributions. A jury couldn't reach a unanimous verdict following a six-week trial last year, and Ellis' retrial is scheduled for June 1.