The Judicial Qualifications Commission has asked the Georgia Supreme Court to suspend a Superior Court Judge Rucker Smith. Why is this showing up here? The reason they are requesting him to be suspended (temporarily with pay) is because of the charges placed against him. He has been charged with one count of battery and two counts of simple battery.
According to the article he has been accused of a Domestic Violence charge, in that his ex-girlfriend Rachael Oliver has accused him of pushing her down, throwing her off a porch, and dragging her. Oliver admits they had been drinking prior to the argument.
Smith has countered that he did not hit Oliver. His attorney says he will not voluntarily step down from the bench.
Is this Domestic Violence? This is a case that will play out in court. The article I referenced did not include anything but the victim’s statement and did not reference any evidence found on the persons or at the scene. But they evidently found enough to cause them to file charges against a presiding judge. That says something to me. But I am not here to be judge and jury. That question will be answered in court.
But one thing in the article did stand out to me. He didn’t hit her. I am thankful for that. But surely as a presiding judge, he knows that domestic violence consists of more than hitting.
Help Guide defines domestic violence as the following:(http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm)
I also found another interesting article on domestic violence and what domestic violence consists of from the Nashville Investigative Bureau, that really breaks it down. It is easy reading, but lengthy so I am just going to provide the link:
Domestic Violence affects the community. Certainly a lot of time will be vested in this trial. And then there is the battle over the suspension. If he is indeed suspended, then there will be some disruption of the court schedules. And if he isn’t suspended, then certainly that is going to provide some distrust in other domestic violence victims, who have cases coming before him. Can he be trusted to fairly judge in a case involving a domestic violence victim and the abuser?
Not to mention what the victim Oliver will be going through. The emotional confusion cannot be discounted. Plus the time spent in making reports and going to the trial. Certainly, there are any personal fears to deal with, let alone the fears of confronting a sitting judge in the very judicial system she is accusing him.
He didn’t hit her. I leave it to you. Is this domestic violence?
Many thanks to Charles Montgomery for bringing the update to my attention.