• On July 1, 2012, Judge Joyce Jones, Probate Court of Polk County, retired from her post of 21 years.   Judge Jones was succeeded by Judge Linda H. Smith.
Judge John F. Salter, State Court of Dougherty County, retired on September 1, 2012.  Upon his retirement, Judge Victoria Darrisaw was appointed to fill the position through the end of the year.  Judge Darrisaw won the election to replace Judge Salter and would have taken office in January.
Judge Bryant Cochran, Chief Magistrate, Murray County, resigned on August 15, 2012.
• On September 28, 2012, Judge George H. Kreeger, Superior Court, Cobb Judicial Circuit, retired after 28 years on that bench.  Judge Kreeger served as a judge for the State Court of Cobb County and as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives prior to his judicial appointment.  Gov. Deal appointed Judge Kreeger a senior judge of the superior courts.
Judge John W. Beam, Juvenile Court, Eastern Judicial Circuit, retired on September 28, 2012 after a 32 year judicial career.  Judge Beam assumed senior status upon appointment from Gov. Deal.  Judge Beam was succeeded by Judge Lisa Goldwire Colbert.
Senior Judge Horace Ward, US District Court, Northern District, retired in September 2012.  In 1979, Judge Ward became the first African-American appointed to a federal judgeship in Georgia.  Judge Ward assumed senior status in 1994; prior to his federal appointment, he served on the benches of the state and superior courts in Fulton County and was a member of the State Senate.

Judge O. Wayne Ellerbee, Juvenile Courts, Southern Judicial Circuit, retired on October 1, 2012, a position he has held since 1970.   On October 9, Gov. Deal appointed Judge Ellerbee as Senior Judge of the Juvenile Courts.  Judge James F. Council, Jr. has been appointed by the superior court judges in the Southern Judicial Circuit to succeed Judge Ellerbee as juvenile court judge.


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