DeKalb Superior Court Chief Judge Courtney L. Johnson during the corruption trial against former DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis in 2015. KENT D. JOHNSON /KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

Judge accused of denying bathroom break faces ethics probe

When you have to go, you have to go.

That’s what public defender Jan Hankins said she was telling Chief Judge Courtney Johnson in a DeKalb County Superior Court courtroom during a murder trial in June. But Johnson denied the urgent pleas, leading to an embarrassing accident, according to court filings and a deputy’s report.

The incident has prompted an ethics probe against the judge, who has now retained counsel to represent her. For a full account, please read our story on