After watchdog groups and legal ethics experts cried foul, Osborne and his daughter agreed not to seek election.
Osborne would have completed his term at the end of the year. Now, he is retiring three months before that. Gov. Nathan Deal will appoint his successor.
In 2008, Osborne came under scrutiny after he sealed then-House Speaker Glenn Richardson’s divorce file. Osborne was the speaker’s former law partner and his daughter worked at Richardson’s law firm. After questions were raised as to whether he gave Richardson special treatment, Osborne disqualified himself from the case, saying he wanted “the full confidence of the public in the judicial process.”
More recently, the Paulding District Attorney’s Office asked Osborne to remove himself from a number of criminal cases, Chief Assistant District Attorney Steve Messinger said Tuesday.
“It’s based on allegations that we believe would show that he was biased or would give an impartial onlooker the impression he was biased against the prosecution,” Messinger said. Osborne dismissed those motions seeking his recusal and some of those orders are being appealed, the prosecutor said.