Superior Court judges make pitch for pay hike
by Jon Gillooly
January 21, 2014 11:51 PM | 6151 views | 4 4 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sen. Judson Hill (R-East Cobb) as the chairman of the Cobb County Delegation which met Tuesday at the state capitol, discusses the proposal sent to them about raises for the Cobb County Superior Court judges. Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Sen. Judson Hill (R-East Cobb) as the chairman of the Cobb County Delegation which met Tuesday at the state capitol, discusses the proposal sent to them about raises for the Cobb County Superior Court judges. Staff/Kelly J. Huff
ATLANTA — Cobb Superior Court judges have asked the Cobb Legislative Delegation for a 3 percent pay raise, a request lawmakers reviewed Tuesday at the Capitol.

Cobb Superior Court Chief Judge Adele Grubbs, in a Dec. 18 letter to the delegation, requested the raises.

State Sen. Judson Hill (R-east Cobb), delegation chairman, said Georgia Superior Court judges are paid a state salary of $120,252 per year as well as a local supplement. In Cobb County, the local supplement is $60,472.

Grubbs, as chief judge, is paid about $10,000 more than the other judges, county spokesman Robert Quigley said.

Hill said last year the judges received a 3 percent pay raise on the local supplement, but not on the state part of their salary.

“They have requested that the Legislature consider a 3 percent raise based on the full amount, which is almost $181,000,” Hill said.

State Sen. Steve Thompson (D-Marietta) urged lawmakers to approve the pay hike, which will be

paid for out of the county’s general fund.

Consider the responsibilities a Superior Court judge has, Thompson said.

“Any lawyers in Marietta that’s that good can make that and more, and if you want to keep competent people on the bench, I think you need to keep them in the range of what’s been recommended, and I would encourage you to do that,” Thompson said.

Yet state Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) questioned the appropriateness of using the county’s general fund to pay for raises on the state portion of a judge’s salary.

“I think it’s the state of Georgia’s obligation to fund the pay raises on the state portion of Superior Court judges pay, and it’s the county’s role to fund the county portion,” Setzler said. “Considering any alternative beyond that, I need to put some more thought to it and understand why that’s the best approach.”

Hill said Setzler made a valid point.

“I think it’s more consistent to look at a pay raise based on the local supplement as opposed to the full amount,” Hill said.

For the raises to be approved, a majority of Cobb’s 15 state representatives — eight — must approve the pay bill before it goes before the full House for a vote. Once the House passes the bill, a majority of Cobb’s six senators — four — must also pass it before it goes before the full Senate for a vote.

Hill said it’s unclear at this point who will carry the bill.

Grubbs’ letter requesting the raises is signed by her and judges Mary Staley, James Bodiford, Lark Ingram, Robert Flournoy,

Stephen Schuster, LaTain Kell, Reuben Green, Robert Leonard and Greg Poole.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
What a joke
January 22, 2014
I am sure they can find people who would take that job for half the cost. Let them go find another job because their time is up. They have all been on the bench way too long and are part of the good ole boys club. Let them go!
February 28, 2015
Almost any one has a story about how they or a family member has been given bad treatment by an attorney. There are unscrupulous attorneys as in any profession. But there are good ones. The good ones mostly command high pay.

There is no doubt there are lawyers who would stand in line for judgeships at low pay.

Do you really want a bargain lawyer-turned judge deciding whether your grandchild goes home with you or his drug addicted parent?

Do you want that judge to decide the fate of your 20 something son who has run afoul of the law? A judge who hasn't read the law and finds procedures advisory?

Judges hold one of the most important positions in society. The lack of respect they receive from so many quarters today, makes me fear for the Republic.
Just Wait
January 22, 2014
I'll be a judge at half their price. I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express and could probably to a more efficient job.
January 22, 2014
I can't believe this. They are so greedy. Sure, they have important jobs, but so do all of us. Who is ever going to make what they think they're worth! Maybe these judges should become self-employed, where they will only be making according to the "will" they put in. Shame on them!
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