In a Thursday letter to Gov. Nathan Deal, Kreeger said he would like to request an appointment to senior judge status.
“It has been my privilege to serve on the Cobb Superior Court bench for 28 years and prior to that for 5 1/2 years in the State Court of Cobb County,” Kreeger wrote in his letter to Deal. “It has also been my pleasure to preside over the Cobb County Adult Drug Court for the last 10 years. Thank you very much for your consideration.”
Kreeger could not be reached for comment by the Journal.
Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said the Judicial Nominating Commission will take applications for the post and then suggests to the governor the top candidates in which to fill Kreeger’s unexpired position.
“The governor personally interviews all the finalists and takes these decisions seriously,” Robinson said.
Cobb Superior Court administrator Tom Charron said whoever Deal selects to replace Kreeger will serve out his unexpired term through Dec. 31, 2014.
“Certainly effective Oct. 1 a new judge is going to have to be on the bench particularly in such a busy circuit as ours there is considerable case loads by each judge, so I would think that the process will start pretty soon,” Charron said.
The Superior Court of Cobb County has 10 elected judges who are each elected to a four year term.
One of Kreeger’s colleagues on the bench, Judge S. Lark Ingram, said Kreeger would be missed.
“A judge’s judge, Judge Kreeger is truly an outstanding superior court judge and all of us in Cobb County are fortunate to have had him presiding for 28 years over the many cases filed in Cobb Superior Court,” Ingram said. “It is an honor to be on the same bench with Judge Kreeger.”
Charron said as a senior judge, Kreeger would continue to hear cases not only in the Cobb circuit but other circuits throughout the state.
Charron said he knew Kreeger had been thinking about resigning for some time.
“I know he had to give a lot of thought to running again two years ago when he ran,” Charron said. “There was some talk then that he may or may not run. I know he and his wife really enjoy traveling, and he told me yesterday they have a trip planned in October and another one in November so I think he just felt it was time.”
Kreeger is the presiding judge of Cobb County Superior Court Drug Treatment Court and chairman of the Judicial Council of Georgia’s Standing Committee on Drug Treatment Courts.
He served in the Georgia House from 1969 to 1976 and as a state court judge from 1979 to 1984 before being appointed to the superior court.
He and his wife, Hellan, live in Kennesaw and have three daughters.
Charron said he most admires Kreeger’s “tremendous judicial temperament.”
“He’s very fair, very even-handed, you very seldom see any emotion one way or the other,” Charron said. “He treats all parties that come before him fairly and equally, I always felt I was treated fairly before Judge Kreeger. I always knew he would follow the law and that he would give both sides a fair hearing. And probably the most that every lawyer will say is his impeccable integrity. He’s just very honest and a very steadying force on the superior court. I’m going to personally miss him and professionally, and I know the other judges feel the same way.”
In addition to Kreeger, Cobb Superior Court Judge Dorothy Robinson, who was first elected in 1980, is also stepping down this year. Three candidates are vying to replace her in the July 31 election. They are Roland Castellanos, a state court judge; former Marietta City Councilman Van Pearlberg, a senior assistant district attorney; and Greg Poole, a juvenile court judge.