Wed., December 2, 2009 3:38pm (EST)

Corrupt Judge Avoids Prison Sentence
By Associated Press
Updated: 4 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Brooks E. Blitch III had been accused of fixing cases and making illegal payments to employees.
Brooks E. Blitch III had been accused of fixing cases and making illegal payments to employees.
A former Georgia Superior Court judge who pleaded guilty to a federal corruption charge has been sentenced to three years on probation and fined $100,000.

Brooks E. Blitch III of Homerville was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Valdosta. Blitch struck a plea deal with prosecutors in September that allowed him to avoid prison.

Thirteen corruption charges were dropped against Blitch, who had been accused of fixing cases and making illegal payments to employees.

Blitch presided for nearly 28 years as one of rural Clinch County's most powerful politicians. He resigned last year to settle judicial misconduct charges by a state agency.

Probation sentences were also given to Blitch's ex-law partner, Berrien Sutton, and Blitch's former court clerk, Daniel Leccese. Both men had previously pleaded guilty.