Governor Brian Kemp makes 4 judicial appointments, intends to appoint a District Attorney for Houston Judicial Circuit
Governor Brian Kemp announced four judicial appointments and his intentions to appoint a district attorney for the Houston County Judicial Circuit on January 7th.
According to a release from Kemp’s office, Judge Charles E. Bailey will fill the seat on the DeKalb County State Court, Ana Maria Martinez will fill the seat on the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit, Judge Richard Read will fill the seat on the Rockdale County State Court.
Kemp says he intends to appoint William Kendall to be the District Attorney of the Houston Judicial Circuit after a vacancy was created by George H. Hartwig III.
William Kendall has served as the chief assistant district attorney for the Houston Judicial Circuit since March of 2021, and has served as an assistant attorney in both Houston and Cordele, from 2018 to 2020 in Cordele, and 2019 to 2021 in Houston. Before getting involved in legal affairs, Kendall worked as a Marine Criminal Investigator from 2009 to 2013 and as a Marine Military Police/ Military Working Dog Handler from 2006 to 2009. Kendall has also received a Bachelors of Science in Homeland Security and Public Safety from Vincennes University and received his Juris Doctorate from Southern Illinois University School of Law.
This was Kendall’s response to Kemp’s announcement:
“I am honored and grateful of the Governor’s decision to allow me to continue to serve the
citizens of Houston County as the District Attorney. We have accomplished a lot in the past few
months and plan to continue our efforts. Our mission remains clear, to prosecute criminals,
support law enforcement and to serve the victims of Houston County—all to seek justice and
make our Community a safer place.
I am a Marine Veteran and former Criminal Investigator. During my time in service and
overseas, I have had the opportunity to gain expertise in law enforcement and leadership. I have
used these skills as a base to bring change to this office and to better serve Houston County.
Recently, we have hired our 30th employee. To provide insight we had less than 10 employees in
our office on September 1st, when I became the Acting DA. At nearly a full staff we are
making ready for some 31 trial weeks that have been planned in 2022. Our experienced staff has
been planning and working hard to prepare for the increase in trials, while being mindful of case
back log, and proactive police and prosecution efforts on crime trends.
I have met personally with law enforcement officials and have walked the crime scenes,
sometimes in the early hours of the morning, to better understand the trends occurring in our
County and to better appreciate the efforts of our law enforcement. Despite the increase in trial
weeks, we have taken action to address a number of community crime trends, including serious
violent felonies and juvenile crime.
We stand ready, as public servants, to continue our efforts to seek justice for victims and have
implemented a number of practices within our office to better serve our community, to serve law
enforcement, and to provide early notification and services to victims.
My leadership team and I have spent the last 100 days or so meeting with law enforcement
officials and community service providers to strengthen and build relationships that will enable
us to better serve our community. With that effort, we have put our community counterparts on
notice that we are ready to assist and that our door is always open.
Again, I am grateful of the Governor’s decision and will continue to work hard to serve the
people of Houston County. I, and those who work with me, will continue to seek justice with
honor and integrity”