Judges pictured at swearing-in ceremony are (l-r) Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr., Judge William Kendall Wynne Jr., Judge Eugene M. Benton, Judge Willim M. Ray II, Judge Samuel D. Ozburn and Judge John M. Ott. -Special photo
COVINGTON -- The judges of the Superior Courts of the Alcovy Judicial Circuit, which includes Newton and Walton counties, were recently sworn in for their new four-year terms beginning Jan. 1.
In a ceremony that was held at the Walton County Government Building in Monroe, the Hon. William M. Ray II, of the Court of Appeals of Georgia administered the oath of office and the loyalty oath to each judge.
"As an attorney who practiced in Gwinnett County, and who served on the Superior Court there, I am aware of the excellent bench that serves the Alcovy Judicial Circuit," Ray said. "It was exciting for me to be able to administer the oath of office to these fine judges."
There are five Superior Court judges who serve the Alcovy Circuit.
Judge John M. Ott has served as Superior Court judge since his appointment by Gov. Joe Frank Harris on Aug. 16, 1990, and was re-elected to his latest term in November. He previously served as the district attorney for the Alcovy Judicial Circuit from 1984 until he was appointed to the bench.
Judge Samuel D. Ozburn was initially appointed to the bench on Dec. 20, 1995, and has since been re-elected without opposition. Judge Ozburn practiced law in Covington from 1976 until he was appointed to the bench by Gov. Zell Miller.
Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr. was initially appointed on Sept. 3, 2002, and has also been re-elected without opposition since his initial appointment by Gov. Roy Barnes. He had previously practiced law in Covington and Decatur for 20 years.
Judge Eugene M. Benton was elected as Superior Court Judge without opposition in 2004, and his first term began on Jan. 1, 2005. He has since been re-elected without opposition. Judge Benton practiced law for 23 years before taking the bench.
Judge William Kendall Wynne Jr. was appointed to the bench on July 1, 2010, by Gov. Sonny Perdue and was elected to his current term without opposition. He served as Assistant District Attorney of the Alcovy Judicial Circuit from 1988 to 2001 when he was elected district attorney. He was serving as district attorney when he was appointed judge.
For more information concerning the Alcovy Crcuit and the Superior Courts, including court calendars, judicial education programs for area schools and biographies of judges, go to www.alcovycircuit.com.