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Veteran public defender ‘excited’ about new opportunity on Magistrate bench
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Senior Assistant Public Defender Andy Maddox works in his office Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, inside the Public Defenders Office in downtown Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers

Senior Assistant Public Defender Andy Maddox said he was “excited about a change and a new opportunity” as a part-time Hall County Magistrate Court judge.

Court Administrator Jason Stephenson said Maddox would begin May 2 in the office that has seen some personnel changes in recent months.

Former Magistrate Court Judge David Burroughs came off the bench at the end of 2021 and moved to private practice. Michelle Hall, who was a part-time judge, was appointed in January to a full-time position, Stephenson said.

Judge Tracy Loggins retired at the end of March. Brian Heck, who came from the district attorney’s office, went from being a part-time judge earlier this year to a full-time judge following Loggins’ retirement, Stephenson said.

Hall and Heck join Chief Judge Margaret Gregory and Judge Elizabeth Reisman as full-time judges.

Maddox said he was unsure of whether he would continue in private practice outside of his Magistrate work. 

“I’ve been doing this for a while and was just looking for something different,”  said Maddox, who had worked with the public defender’s office for roughly 14 years.

Maddox joins a number of more senior members of the public defender’s office who have moved in recent months to private practice or judgeships.

“For me, it’s been an honor to be with the public defender’s office,” Maddox said.