The recusal order, filed by judges Jon Wood, Kristina Graham, Ralph Van Pelt Jr. and Brian House, comes a week after a handful of local defense attorneys filed motions questioning whether they’ve been given all the evidence in cases involving their clients who were arrested during the alleged stings.
The motions, filed by attorneys such as McCracken Poston, David Dunn, and Shawn Bible, allege that prosecutors with the district attorney’s office are holding back information by giving “false or incomplete” evidence about the task force, specifically instances in which untrained and uncertified civilians may have been allowed to participate in such undercover capacities.
According to district court administrator Jody Overcash, Cobb County Senior Superior Court judge Grant Brantley per the request of Seventh District Administrative judge James Bodiford will now hear the pre-trial motions.
Overcash also clarified that the four judges only recused themselves from the pre-trial motions, which creates a situation where they could still hear the cases at trial.
“It’s possible, but probably unlikely,” she said.
The cases, which were initially set to go to trial next week, now face an uncertain schedule because of the developments.
The task force has fallen under intense scrutiny over the past few weeks after it was learned that the operation’s leader, FBI special agent Ken Hillman, allegedly abused his power over the past two years by influencing local officers to look the other way during instances when he was pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving.
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