Longtime public defender set for ‘new challenge’ leading Paulding team

Credit: Cobb County Superior Court

Credit: Cobb County Superior Court

For 32 years, Michael Syrop has dedicated his legal career to defending those accused of crimes.

“I have a calling to do this kind of work,” Syrop told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

This week, Syrop began his new role as head of the Paulding County public defender’s office. He previously served as a contract attorney for Cobb County Circuit Defender’s Office.

Syrop called it, “a new challenge, a new adventure,” and said he’s been welcomed by the Paulding legal community. One of his first tasks is to hire additional public defenders he said.

While he’s excited about his new role, his departure is already being felt in Cobb courtrooms.

“He’s been an invaluable asset,” said Scott Halperin, Cobb’s circuit defender. “He has a true passion for what we do.”

Cobb Superior Court Judge Ann Harris, Chief Judge Rob Leonard and Judge Kimberly Childs presented Syrop with a commemorative award on Sept. 30 to recognize his years of service

“Michael has been a valued member of the accountability court teams here in Cobb for years. He has a heart for the program participants and advocates staunchly for them, especially when they have run afoul of program requirements and their future in the program hangs in the balance,” Harris said in a statement. “At the same time, he never loses sight of the importance of program integrity and core concepts of the criminal justice system such as due process and fairness. Our loss is Paulding County’s gain.”