The judges of the Superior Courts of the Alcovy Judicial Circuit (Newton County and Walton County) were sworn in for their new four-year terms on Dec. 21, by Hon. William M. Ray, II, of the Court of Appeals of Georgia, in a ceremony held at the Walton County Government Building in Monroe.
Judge John M. Ott has served as Superior Court judge since his appointment by Governor Joe Frank Harris on Aug. 16, 1990, and was re-elected to his latest term this year. 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 Governor 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 Governor 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 Governor Sonny Perdue and was elected to his current term this year without opposition. He served as Assistant District Attorney of the Alcovy Judicial Circuit from 1988 to 2001 when he was elected as District Attorney.
The oath of office and loyalty oath were administered to each judge by Judge William M. Ray, II, of Gwinnett County who was appointed to the Georgia Court of Appeals on July 30, 2012, by Governor Nathan Deal. "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. It was exciting for me to be able to administer the oath of office to these fine judges," Judge Ray said at the end of the ceremony.
More information concerning the Alcovy Circuit and the Superior Courts, including court calendars, judicial education programs for area schools, and judge biographies, is available on the circuit website at www.alcovycircuit.com.