Goger said the issue of Schrader’s recusal will be addressed again at the end of the 60-day period he imposed Thursday. He expressed hope that there would be more answers regarding the GBI’s investigation at that time.
The state agency has released little information on its probe, which started March 11.
Gwinnett Assistant District Attorney Sam d’Entremont, who represented Porter’s interests in Thursday’s brief hearing, didn’t seem especially optimistic about the time frame imposed.
“The GBI said that there is a lot of computer forensic analysis that has to happen,” he said. “That’s going to take some time.”
Porter, who has vehemently denied ever having tried to access Schrader’s computer, declined to comment following the hearing. Schrader, who was first elected to the Superior Court bench in 2012, did not attend.
The judge’s attorney, BJ Bernstein, declined to speak to reporters.
Prior to Thursday's ruling, Schrader had informally stepped aside from handling cases prosecuted by Porter's office and asked colleagues to fill her seat when necessary. She'll now have to step aside based Goger's order; Schrader can still hear civil cases, which rarely if ever involve the DA's office, but Thursday's order bars her from carrying out a significant portion of the judicial responsibilities for which she's paid an annual salary of nearly $179,000.
It has remained unclear why Schrader believed Porter was trying to access her computer. But it was the arrest of one of the district attorney’s most infamous enemies that started the saga that’s now playing out in court.
Kramer, the Dragon Con co-founder first accused of inappropriately touching young boys in 2000, was arrested on Feb. 26 after allegedly taking a photo of a 7-year-old boy at a Lawrenceville doctor's office. In addition to new charges, he was accused of violating the probation still in place following the long-delayed child molestation conviction that came down in 2013.
After Kramer was arrested, a search of his computers found a folder with Schrader’s name on it. According to court documents, subsequent investigation found that Schrader had hired private investigator T.J. Ward to look into her concerns that someone, possibly Porter, was trying to access her work computer.
Ward had another man install a monitoring device on Schrader’s county-issued computer — and then tasked Kramer, whom he has previously employed as a computer forensic analyst, with keeping track of the activity.
After learning that Kramer may have been given access to the county’s computer network, Porter referred the matter to the GBI in early March. The District Attorney’s Office is no longer directly involved in the investigation. Porter has asked the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia to assign a outside prosecutor to review the GBI’s investigation when it’s completed and determine if a criminal case is warranted.