Colton Moore, Dade's brand-new 25-year-old voice in the Georgia House of Representatives, is not wading timidly into his term as District 1 rep but is already making a splash and perhaps a few waves: On Friday, he called for the resignation of powerful House Speaker David Ralston.
"District 1 and many citizens across our great State believe you should no longer serve as the leader of Georgia’s largest governing body," wrote the young politician in a Feb. 22 letter to Ralston. "In light of this situation and these trusted opinions, I request you immediately pursue one or both of the following actions."
Those actions are for Ralston to resign as speaker or to withdraw as attorney to all clients he has been accused of pulling judicial strings for. Ralston, a Republican, practices law in Blue Ridge, and stands accused after an investigation by The Atlanta Journal Constitution of having used his position to stall hearings and trials for his clients for years. "Those delays have tied up cases for clients charged with child cruelty, drunken driving, assault, terroristic threats and other crimes," says an AJC article.
Ralston has denied the charges but now faces investigation by his fellow attorneys and, in the House, by his fellow lawmakers. On Friday, 10 of them drafted a resolution calling for him to step down, among them Moore. "Please accept House Resolution 328 and peacefully resign so you may promptly attend to your judiciary responsibilities and allow the victims of your clients to obtain prompt justice without further delay," Moore writes in his letter to Ralston.
Strong language, but Ralston's criminal defense clients include an evangelist accused of raping a 14-year-old girl, who critics say Ralston's delays have denied her day in court.
Readers may view Moore's full letter via the link below:
Moore, not an attorney himself in private life but an international auctioneer, took office in January after a narrow but stunning upset of six-year incumbent John Deffenbaugh.
The youthful representative, coincidentally or otherwise, is hosting a town-hall-style meeting in Dade on Sunday at the Senior Center on Highway 11 South. The expected focus was to have been on proposed changes to Dade's so-called 65/5 property tax exemption for senior citizens, though Moore had announced his subject matter would include the entire current legislative session.
That meeting is at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Senior Center, 9622 Highway 11 South, Trenton.