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Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 2:31am

Glynn Judge Faces Ethics Charges

A powerful Georgia judge is being charged with ethical misconduct by a state agency that says she abused her power by mistreating drug court defendants, particularly those she ordered jailed for indefinite periods.

The Associated Press obtained a 12-count complaint filed Wednesday by the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission, which has the power to remove judges from office, against Superior Court Judge Amanda F. Williams. The 64-year-old Williams is the chief judge of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit and has served on the bench since 1990.

Williams presides over Georgia's largest drug court, which aims to spare drug offenders from prison if they go straight. But the complaint says Williams overstepped her authority by jailing drug court defendants indefinitely if they missed court or relapsed.

Williams and her drug court were featured on an episode of This American Life earlier this year.

Williams and her attorney declined to comment.

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