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The Local Agenda: Panel identifies candidates for Enotah judgeships
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The commission charged with helping Gov. Nathan Deal to find two new judges for the Enotah Judicial Circuit released the names of five candidates for the jobs late last week.

Two of the five will likely fill recent vacancies made in the circuit when former Judges David Barrett and Lynn Akeley-Alderman resigned amidst investigations into their conduct.

The list includes Hiawassee City Manager Richard Stancil. the executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia Stanley Gunter and White County’s Chief Magistrate Judge Joy Parks. Also on the list are attorneys Raymond George of Dahlonega and Stanley Gunter of Cleveland.

Barrett resigned in early March after pulling out his gun and pretending to offer it to an uncooperative witness. At the time, Barrett was presiding over a bond hearing for former Hall County deputy Scott Sugarman.

Akeley-Alderman resigned later in the month as the Judicial Qualifications Commission investigated whether she tried to improperly influence the case of Charles Steven Stringer. a Gainesville man convicted of drug charges in Forsyth County by meeting with a judge in his chambers on Stringer’s behalf.

Though no timeline has been set to fill the positions, a spokesman for the governor’s office said Deal plans to interview each of the finalists by the end of May.

“The governor is committed to getting this done as quickly as possible,” Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said in an email.

Council to vote on sewer repairs

Gainesville City Council will vote today on a $465,850 request to repair Gainesville Public Utilities Department sewers between Athens Street and Queen City Parkway.

Marcial Mosquedo, an engineering and construction specialist with the utilities department, described cracked and corroded sewer lines that, if not replaced, could cause manhole overflows.

“We need to take care of this before it becomes nonfunctional,” he said.

If approved, the money to pay for the project would come from the Public Utilities Department’s capital improvement funds, which is bankrolled by water and sewer bills to customers.

Much of the work for sewer improvements will be performed in-house.

The bulk of the costs, according to the plan, comes from land easement and acquisition.

In order to save on costs, the department is looking to complete the work in coordination with upcoming Flat Creek restoration efforts.

The council’s meeting is today at 5:30 p.m. at the Gainesville Justice Center on Queen City Parkway.

 

Aaron Hale covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:

ahale@gainesvilletimes.com

facebook.com/TimesAaronHale

@HaleGainesTimes

Ashley Fielding is the senior political reporter for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:

afielding@gainesvilletimes.com

facebook.com/ashleylfielding

@GtimesPolitics

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