Thursday February 11th, 2016 2:11PM

Johnson appointed Habersham chief magistrate judge

By Rob Moore Reporter
CLARKESVILLE - Gerald William Johnson of Demorest has been appointed Habersham County chief magistrate judge.<br /> <br /> The announcement Tuesday afternoon, from Habersham County Superior Court Chief Judge Chan B. Caudell, says he and Judge Russell W. Smith made the appointment to fulfill the term of retiring Chief Magistrate Judge James Newby Butterworth.<br /> <br /> "I've been very blessed to work in public service for 23 years," Johnson said. "My professional experience, my life experience, I think it's been beneficial to me for this new opportunity."<br /> <br /> Johnson currently is chief investigator and captain for the Rabun County Sheriff's Office, where he has been employed since 2009.<br /> <br /> Prior to that, he was assistant chief of Clarkesville Police Department, and served as a White County deputy magistrate judge from 2001-2003.<br /> <br /> Asked what he is most excited about, Johnson said "the opportunity to give back to Habersham County, which has given me so much. I grew up here. I've lived here. This is my home, and I'm excited about the opportunity to just get back to the community and to help people in that capacity."<br /> <br /> In his announcement, Caudell said, "We were blessed with an outstanding pool of applicants, but that made the decision even more difficult. I have known Gerald Johnson for many years. I appeared in his court when he served as a magistrate judge in White County and was impressed by his patience and judicial demeanor. He is a man of high integrity and has a wealth of knowledge and experience, especially in criminal cases. I know he will serve the citizens of Habersham County well."<br /> <br /> Johnson has completed more than 1,600 hours of law enforcement-related training, which he believes will be beneficial to him in this new capacity.<br /> <br /> "I've aspired to work in this position for several years, and now that I have this opportunity, I'm looking forward to service," Johnson said.<br /> <br /> Johnson said a firm start date and swearing in are in the works.
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