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Judge B.E. Roberts to retire, creating vacancy on Hall County State Court bench
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The Hall County Courthouse stands along Spring Street on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018. The move over to the new Hall County Courthouse Annex is finished and now houses Juvenile and Probate courts. - photo by Austin Steele

Hall County State Court Judge B.E. Roberts III will retire Feb. 1, leaving an open spot on the bench to be decided by Gov. Brian Kemp.

Starting as a Hall County Magistrate Court judge in January 1997, Bernard Eugene “Gene” Roberts III was appointed to the Hall County Superior Court bench in September 2003 by former Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Roberts received his law degree from Mercer University.

The judge retired as a lieutenant commander in 1997 from the U.S. Navy.

Roberts also presided over the Veterans Treatment Court program, an accountability court program seeking to address veterans’ substance abuse issues and trauma to reduce recidivism.

The Times reached out to Roberts’ office to discuss his retirement, but a representative from his office said he was not available Friday, Jan. 6.

The Judicial Nominating Commission opened the application process Jan. 5 for Roberts’ seat.

Members of the state bar can nominate themselves or others until Jan. 14.

Information on submissions can be found at jnc.georgia.gov/hall-county-state-court-0.

The application deadline will be Jan. 23. After performing interviews, the Judicial Nominating Commission will recommend a short list of applicants to the governor.

Court administrator Jason Stephenson said Judges Larry Baldwin II and John Breakfield are going to cover Roberts’ caseload until a new judge is appointed.

“We’ll also rely on judges from other classes of court to fill in some of the gaps,” Stephenson said. “We have a good plan in place to keep up, at least for the short term.”