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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 certification

 
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 2/10/09.  Where does Jackson think the County will get the money to pay Jacobs?

 
Jasper County citizens deserve better. Jackson 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.

 
Baldwin 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.


Jasper
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 appointed.


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.”  TWG 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.


TWG
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