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Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 11:42am

Judge To Resign Amid Ethics Probe

A coastal judge accused of ethical violations has agreed to resign.

Glynn County Superior Court Judge Amanda Williams stood accused of jailing inmates indefinitely, giving preferential treatment and abusing power.

Williams' resignation comes almost nine months after public radio's This American Life uncovered evidence of what it described as tyrannical behavior by a feared jurist.

The state's Judicial Qualifications Commission followed up on the report.

Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears came out of retirement to press the case.

"I think it's a good thing," Sears says. "The vast, vast majority of judges do a good job and are honorable, fair and unbiased. I just think that we're doing a more aggressive job of weeding out those judges who don't."

Sears says, when judges violate their oath, it casts a shadow on the rest of the judicial system.

"I think when any jurist particularly in a position of power starts to abuse that power that it's time that they step aside and the sooner the better," Sears says. "So I'm pleased with this result."

Williams couldn't be reached and her lawyers declined to comment.

This American Life host Ira Glass also wouldn't talk about Williams' resignation but did say why he pursued her case agressively.

"I stayed on it for months," Glass says. "It seemed like the kind of story where, if it were true, then somebody really should try to get to the bottom of it."

Her resignation was confirmed by the Associated Press and is set to become effective January 2nd.

It sets up the possibility that Governor Nathan Deal could appoint her replacement.

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