Investigation of Dougherty Probate Court judge moving forward

·2 min read

Jul. 10—ALBANY — A criminal case involving terroristic threats against Dougherty County's Probate Court judge could be moving toward disposition, either through prosecutors taking it to a grand jury or dismissal.

Judge Leisa Blount was arrested in March 2020 on one count each of terroristic threats and violation of oath by a public officer.

"I hope within the next month or two we'll know where we're going with it," Southern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brian Shealey of Valdosta said. "We may present it to the grand jury, or I may make an assessment we're not."

The case was referred to the Southern Circuit after local court officials recused themselves from the case.

"I know it needs to be cleared out," Shealey said. "I'm trying to do that as quickly as I can."

Blount, with her two Albany attorneys, recently held a news conference to address the case, which revolves around two occasions on which a Dougherty County Facilities Maintenance Department employee entered her office in early 2020.

The employee reportedly had no duties in that part of the building at the time, and in an affidavit Blount indicated he acted strangely. In one instance he reportedly told her he was there to turn off the lights, and in the other did not give an answer for why he went inside the Probate Court area.

During a meeting with officials from the county and Dougherty County Sheriff's Office, Blount made a remark about defending herself and that she was allowed as a judge to bring a gun inside the building for protection.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which was requested to investigate by Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul, alleged that Blount made threats against the employee in the presence of witnesses.

Blount's attorneys said during the news conference that she needs a speedy disposition of the charges hanging over her.

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