Georgia Magistrate Judge Anthony Peters was thrown off the bench after a pattern of bizarre behavior that included pot-smoking, kicking in doors, and pulling a gun out in the courthouse and asking a fellow judge: “I am not scared. Are you all scared?”
The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously voted to oust Peters earlier this month, ruling that he should be “permanently removed from his position as a judge and barred from ever holding or seeking elected or appointed judicial office in the State of Georgia.”
Court documents on the inquiry into Peters’ behavior describe one incident in February 2009, when Peters showed up at his sister-in-law’s estranged husband’s house, identified himself as a Magistrate Judge, and kicked in two doors in the house to get access to two bedrooms.
There was also an incident in the spring of 2009 when Peters pulled out a gun at the Catoosa County Courthouse, pointed it at himself and said to another Magistrate Judge: “I am not scared. Are you all scared?”
In June 2010 Peters made a call to a local TV talk show, and according to court documents,
“after initially trying to disguise his voice with multiple foreign accents while speaking with the Catoosa County Sheriff (who was being interviewed on the show), told the Sheriff that he had ‘crapped himself’ and that the Sheriff was a ‘spineless jelly spine.’”
The inquiry also found that he had been smoking pot at least once a week from March-May of 2010.
Peters said in an April hearing that his behavior was the result of a “rough patch,” and his lawyer said it was caused by drug abuse after Peters was involved in a serious ATV accident in 2005.
“Notwithstanding Judge Peters’ personal belief that he has already received appropriate discipline, the record reveals that Judge Peters has not sought treatment for his admitted drug problems and has done nothing to show that he has any ability to live up to the high standard of conduct expected of members of the judiciary in Georgia,” the court opinion says.