Panel investigating six to eight judges in Georgia

The state Judicial Qualifications Commission is investigating six to eight judges who potentially face "very serious charges," the judicial watchdog agency's director said Wednesday.

Jeff Davis, who did not identify the judges being investigated, made the disclosure during a hearing before a House budget panel. The JQC, which has a $409,000 annual budget, is seeking a $106,000 increase for fiscal year 2013. Complaints against judges have spiked to an expected 675 this year from 337 in 2008, Davis said.

The JQC expects to open investigations in about 100 cases this year, but it can only fully engage a few cases at a time because of budget constraints, he said. In the past few years, a number of judges have resigned from the state bench in the wake of JQC investigations. That includes the recent resignation of Amanda Williams, the influential chief Superior Court judge from Brunswick, after the commission filed a dozen ethics charges against her.

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