Georgia Court of Appeals judge suspended with pay | News

ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court suspended state Court of Appeals Judge Christian Coomer with pay Wednesday after the previous Georgia legislator was charged with misbehavior.

Coomer, a Republican politician, served in the Georgia Legislature for 8 years up until he was selected to the state’s second-highest court in 2018.

The charges come from an examination released in 2015 into claims that Coomer defrauded a senior customer while working as a personal lawyer.

Jim Fihart, 78, of Cartersville, declared he lent $159,000 to Coomer’s holding business in March of 2018 with the pledge that the cash would be repaid in a year, according to released reports. Nevertheless, the promissory note that was composed stated it was to be settled in thirty years when Fihart would be well into his 100s.

The note listed Fihart’s property as security of the debt should it not be paid.

Coomer has stated the residential or commercial property discrepancy was an unintentional mistake made when writing the document. He also offered to correct the error when it was drawn to his attention.

Coomer borrowed another $130,000 later in 2018, again through his holding company. This second loan was to be paid off when Fihart would have turned 84 and was also unsecured.

Fihart alleges Coomer must have known he was impaired and unable to make reasonable decisions. Coomer argues that it wasn’t until 2019 that Fihart suggested that he was somehow impaired.

Following an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission charged Coomer late last month with 26 violations of the state Code of Judicial Conduct. Coomer has actually rejected all of the claims.

Under the state Supreme Court’s order, Coomer will be suspended with pay pending a last decision of the judicial commission’s case versus him.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.