BREAKING NEWS: Governor suspends Spalding Clerk of Court Marcia Norris

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has issued an executive order announcing the 60-day suspension of Spalding County Clerk of Court Marcia Norris.

According to Deal, Norris willfully failed to fulfill her duties, therefore committing misconduct in office.

Deal on Aug. 30 issued an executive order appointing members to a committee with the purpose of investigating Norris. That committee on Nov. 28 presented to Deal its final report and recommendation regarding Norris.

“The committee concluded that the willful failure of Ms. Norris to fulfill her duties as Clerk of the Superior Courts of Spalding County constitutes misconduct in office, recommended that Ms. Norris be suspended from office for a period of 60 days, and further recommended that the District Attorney for the Griffin Judicial Circuit bring a removal petition against Ms. Norris,” Deal’s executive order reads.

Deal further ordered, “That District Attorney Ben Coker review the report of the committee to ascertain whether a removal petition should be brought against Ms. Norris and, if such a petition is appropriate, the District Attorney shall be authorized to bring said petition for removal on the basis of the report of the committee, allowing the citizens of Spalding County to determine whether she should continue to serve as the Spalding County Clerk of Court.”

Under OCGA 15-6-53, Norris’s responsibilities will be performed by Spalding County Chief Deputy Clerk of Court.

“Under state law, the Chief Deputy Clerk Debbie Brooks will step in and serve as clerk of court during this 60-day period,” said Spalding County Manager William Wilson. “If the clerk (Norris) is removed from office and the remaining term is greater than two years, a special election has to be held. If it’s less than two years, the deputy clerk will serve that time.”

Asked if he anticipates any disruption in services provided by the Clerk of Court’s Office, Wilson said, “No, I do not. Debbie has worked there for many years and is a very capable and responsible person.”

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