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Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 9:22am

Ex-Judge Cleared Of Charges

A former Georgia judge's conviction and sentence in a corruption case has been thrown out by a federal court.

A U.S. District Court judge ordered Wednesday that Brooks E. Blitch III be cleared of wrongdoing after he pleaded guilty in 2009 to honest services fraud.

Blitch served for nearly three decades as a Superior Court judge in south Georgia but resigned to settle civil misconduct charges by the state.

Prosecutors asked the federal court to void Blitch's plea and sentence last fall after the Supreme Court ruled that the law used to convict him only applies to defendants taking bribes or kickbacks. Prosecutors never had evidence Blitch exchanged judicial favors for money.

The court also voided the guilty plea of Blitch's former law partner, Berrien Sutton, in the same case.

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