Judge in DeKalb corruption case sends resignation letter

DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker, who is under investigation for her handling of a DeKalb corruption case, sent her letter of resignation Wednesday to Gov. Nathan Deal.

Becker said she plans to step down from the bench March 1, and she wrote that she’s giving advance notice to give the governor time to find her replacement.

Becker previously said she’s resigning because she’s engaged to be married — not because of any public pressure.

“Over the course of more than 14 years of service as a judge, I have been privileged to serve with outstanding jurists,” Becker wrote in her resignation letter. “The weight and responsibility of that service has been buoyed by the exceptional service of jurors, excellent attorneys and the advances we have achieved in criminal justice reform.”

In the DeKalb schools case, Becker rejected a plea deal with former Superintendent Crawford Lewis and sentenced him to serve 12 months in jail. She said she didn’t believe Lewis was truthful when he testified against Pat Reid, the school system’s former construction chief, and Tony Pope, an architect.

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A jury found Reid and Pope guilty of manipulating construction contracts last December, but Becker reversed their convictions last month because she said their convictions relied on Lewis’ allegedly false testimony. The Georgia Court of Appeals then stepped in to put her actions on hold.

“Judge Becker has revealed the existence of a Judicial Qualifications investigation that is certainly a serious matter,” said Lester Tate, the chairman of the Georgia Judicial Qualification Commission. “While I cannot comment on the substance of the allegations, I can say that procedurally the council will continue to consider and pursue the complaint, just like we would against any other judge. Nothing about her resignation has changed our procedures.”

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