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Board opposes magistrate nominee | News

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Board opposes magistrate nominee

A state agency says Chief Magistrate Judge William Randall's choice to fill a vacant magistrate post should not be approved due to a conflict of interest.

The letter from the Judicial Qualifications Commission notes that Randall's nominee is the mother of his grandson.

"It is the unanimous opinion of the commission that the proposed appointment of the judge's grandchild would be inappropriate" and "cannot be approved," said the letter.

It was written to Judge Tilman Self, Chief Judge of the Macon Judicial Circuit.

Self had asked the state agency for an opinion on whether the appointment was proper.

We could not reach Randall for comment Tuesday.

The state agency's letter does not identify Randall's nominee. But a Bibb County court official identified her to 13WMAZ as Linda C. Reid. We also could not reach her for comment.

In Bibb County, magistrates are hired by vote of the county's superior court judges.

Magistrate's duties including hearing small claims, county ordinance violations, bad checks, preliminary hearings and issuing search and arrest warrants.

It's the second time in three years that one of Randall's magistrate appointments has hit opposition.

In 2011, superior court judges approved, then disapproved Selinda Handsford.

She resigned as a magistrate in 2005 after being accused of illegally taking "love offerings" for performing courthouse weddings.

Randall reportedly failed to include that information when he nominated Handsford for the magistrate post in 2011.

At that time, a court official told 13WMAZ that Judge Randall also failed to mention that Handsford was also the mother of one of his grandchildren.


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