February 10, 2009
KEN JACKSON APPOINTS AN ASSOCIATE MAGISTRATE TO ASSIST HIM
TWG questions how Ken Jackson works 40 hours a week as
Magistrate Judge. Even though he
certifies under oath each month that he does work 40 hours a week, his
outside activities makes this certification questionable. See attached
Jackson has sent the Commissioners a letter indicating he is
so busy (a need exists) that he has had the Superior Court Judges sign an order appointing
a part time Associate Magistrate to help him.
See Order here
First, there is a hiring freeze; second, Jackson needs to
stay in the office to fulfill his duties instead of coaching all afternoon and
evening; and third, there is no money in the budget to hire anyone. There is also a County policy against any
county employee holding elected office. Jackson has
appointed Bobby Jacobs, City Councilman, to be part time Magistrate. Has Bobby Jacobs resigned as City Councilman? Our sources tell us no, not as of today
does Jackson think the County will get the money to pay Jacobs?
County citizens deserve
said in campaign forums, “I’m committed to the job.” TWG just wants to know which job it is that
he’s committed to because it doesn’t appear to be the Magistrate job. Jackson failed to confer with anyone about
this appointment even though he knew the County was in poor financial
condition. This action appears to be “pay back” for not getting his supplement.
Jackson is seen in Magistrate Court approximately 2-4 hours
on two Fridays a MONTH. That means he’s
working about 10
hours a MONTH as Magistrate, but the rest of his time – another 160
hours a month—is extremely hard to verify.
County, a much larger
county than Jasper, has a Part-Time Magistrate.
Newton County, a much larger county than
Jasper, has a hired Magistrate who works when needed. Oconee
County, a much larger
county than Jasper, has a Part-time Magistrate.
County is a small county
with not that many cases. This is proven
by the fact that the judge only has to hold court 2 mornings a month and an
assistant does most of the work the rest of the time. Now Jackson has had a second assistant
There are questions that need to be answered as to how
Jasper’s Magistrate became full-time.
Just because one is elected, doesn’t mean their job is full time (BOC
for example). The law says full time means a 40 hour work
week. The law also says “a full day’s
work for a full day’s pay.”
questions Jackson’s ability to meet either of these laws.
If he could, he wouldn’t be so adamant about refusing
to fill out a time sheet.
Many said it would happen and it didn’t take but a few days
after the November 4th election for Magistrate Judge Ken Jackson to become coach
of three (3) basketball teams at the local private school.
He is coach of the Middle School Basketball
team, head coach
of the B-Team Basketball team
and assistant coach
of the Varsity Basketball Team.
(Click on links to see schedules)
Coach Jackson is at some practices that start as early as
2:15PM. Many times he leaves for away
games with the team earlier than 2:00PM in order to get to the opposing team’s
school in time to warm up and play the game.
If you look at the schedules, you will see that Jackson is spending more
than 40 hours a week coaching and attending basketball games. He has
already started coaching Baseball, too.
In addition to all his coaching, the Magistrate Ken Jackson
also is a Juvenile
Defender in Juvenile Court throughout the circuit. Ken Jackson says (or at least the Clerk of
Court does) that this is part of his “private law practice.” Judge/Coach/Lawyer Jackson is in Juvenile
Court in Putnam County each Monday morning. He is in Jones
County every other Tuesday and in Morgan County
the alternate Tuesdays. He alternates
Wednesdays between Green and Jasper Counties, and is in Baldwin County
each Thursday. The Court Schedule
verifies this as well as open records requests from the listed counties.
See Juvenile Court Calendar and
Jackson’s schedule here - 2008 and 2009
Recently Jackson has also used the Courthouse to hold at
least one meeting with private citizens.
The Courthouse security guard was not informed nor was the County
Manager that the Courthouse would be used.
Jackson and about 25-30 people met Thursday night (2/5/09) in the
Courthouse. TWG questions the legality of this meeting; Jackson has been
suspected of using the courthouse for his private business on several occasions. According to Georgia Law an elected official
can not use county property or facilities for his private use.
A recall provides a way for citizens to retain control over
elected officials who are not
representing the best interests of the citizens. An elected representative is an agent, a
servant, and not a master. Enough
is enough. People need to speak out
against this unneeded waste of taxpayer’s money.