Brunswick circuit judge presided through fear

Posted: December 30, 2011 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized

By Teresa Stepzinski & Terry Dickson

BRUNSWICK – For more than two decades, lawyers say, Chief Superior Court Judge Amanda Williams reigned over her courtroom as a dictator — equally quick to reward some with favors and to berate those who challenged her.

Williams, who also presided over the largest drug court in Georgia, could be compassionate, but over the years she became confrontational, arrogant and openly political, say some Brunswick Judicial Circuit lawyers.

“She’d say, ‘You’re a scumbag’ to defendants, and tell lawyers to ‘shut up and sit down,’ ” said Doug Alexander, a St. Simons Island lawyer.

But all that ends Monday, when Williams steps down in the face of 14 counts of judicial misconduct with the threat of criminal charges on the horizon. Williams keeps her state pension and law license but is banned from being a judge under her deal with the Judicial Qualification Commission, the state agency that disciplines judges.

Williams, 65, didn’t return telephone messages left at her St. Simons Island home and her chambers in the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick. Her lawyers previously declined comment.

Lawyers say they tolerated Williams’ belligerence because they feared retaliation against their clients.

via Lawyers: Brunswick circuit judge presided through fear | jacksonville.com.

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