MONROE, Ga. — Three Superior Court judges took their oaths of office today, Dec. 30, at the Walton County Historic Courthouse before beginning new terms on the Alcovy Judicial Circuit bench.
Chief Judge John Ott and Judge Ken Wynne will continue to preside over Superior Court cases in Newton and Walton counties after voters returned them to their judgeships without opposition June 9.
Jeffrey Foster, a veteran Walton County attorney, earned a first term on the Alcovy Superior Court bench after winning an August runoff election.
The Alcovy Judicial Circuit includes Newton and Walton counties.
Foster is replacing Eugene Benton, who has served as an Alcovy Circuit Superior Court judge since his election in 2004 to replace Judge Marvin Sorrells.
He served as judge of Social Circle Municipal Court and is a former Walton County associate Magistrate judge and Monroe Municipal Court judge.
Foster earned an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Delaware in 1989, and his law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1993.
The new judge worked as a law clerk for Ott, and as chief assistant district attorney when Wynne served as DA, before opening his own law firm in 2004.
He was a partner in the Foster, Hanks and Ballard firm in Monroe before his election.
Ott and Wynne were unopposed in the June 9 election.
Then-Gov. Joe Frank Harris appointed Ott as a Superior Court judge in August 1990. He has served as chief judge since 2005.
Ott was appointed after serving as district attorney in the Alcovy Judicial Circuit from 1984 to 1990.
He has served as the Administrative Judge for the 10th Judicial District and was on the Executive Council of The Superior Court Judges and the Judicial Council for the State of Georgia.
Ott also has served as the Superior Court Judge representative on the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision and the Advisory Committee for the Georgia Department of Community Supervision.
He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and his law degree from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.
Wynne has served as a Superior Court judge since July 1, 2010, after his December 2009 appointment by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue.
He also served as district attorney for the Alcovy Circuit from 2001 to 2009 after working as an assistant DA for 12 years.
Wynne established the Newton County Adult Felony Drug Court in 2013 and has presided over that court since its inception.
He is a former president of the Alcovy Bar Association, a past president of the
Covington Kiwanis Club, and a 2003 graduate of Leadership Walton.
He is a past recipient of the State Bar of Georgia Younger Lawyers’ Division Commitment to Justice Award. In 1990, the Georgia Department of Human Resources named him Georgia Child Support Attorney of the Year.
Wynne earned an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Georgia in 1984, and his law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1987.
Superior Court judges in Georgia preside over all criminal felony trials and have exclusive jurisdiction over divorces, among other legal matters, according to information from the Alcovy circuit.