Gov Kemp Promotes Griffin Circuit D.A. To Superior Court; Names New D.A., Another Judge Coming Soon

It’s been a busy week in the Griffin Judicial Circuit, which covers Fayette, Pike, Spalding, and Upson counties. Governor Brian Kemp announced the appointment of the circuit’s District Attorney, Benjamin Coker, to a new, fifth judgeship. From a press release:

Benjamin D. Coker holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Risk Management, and Insurance from the University of Georgia and a law degree from the Georgia State University College of Law. Prior to his appointment, he served as an associate attorney and assistant district attorney, and he currently serves as District Attorney of the Griffin Judicial Circuit. Coker is a member of the Thomaston Bar Association, Spalding County Bar Association, Fayette County Bar Association, and he is a board member for Promise Place, a domestic violence prevention agency. He and his wife, Christy, reside in Thomaston with their children.

To fill the vacated District Attorney position, Governor Kemp elevated the Assistant District Attorney, Marie Broder, to the post.

Marie G. Broder received bachelor’s degrees in Speech Communication and Public Relations and a law degree from the University of Georgia. She has served as a law clerk and associate, assistant district attorney, and office manager, and she currently serves as Chief Assistant District Attorney for the Griffin Judicial Circuit. Broder is a member of the Federalist Society, Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, Georgia Bar Association, Phi Beta Kappa, Daughters of the American Revolution, Spalding County Bar Association, Fayette County Bar Association, Upson County Bar Association, and Georgia Association of Women Lawyers. She and her husband, Karl, reside in Griffin with their daughter.

Earlier in the week, one of the circuit’s existing four Superior Court Judges, former State Representative Mack Crawford, entered an Alford Plea on theft charges and resigned his post. The theft charges and resulting October 2019 indictment stemmed from a case where the court held money dating to 2009 from Crawford’s former clients, which he as a judge ordered handed over to him rather than to the state as unclaimed property. An Alford plea indicates Judge Crawford does not admit guilt, but concedes the state could prove charges against him. Expect an announcement from Governor Kemp on Crawford’s replacement soon.

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