The former executive director of the state’s judicial watchdog agency, who resigned three weeks ago, won’t voluntarily appear before a special legislative committee investigating the agency and has notified lawmakers that he will fight any subpoena to compel his attendance.
In a five-page letter sent Friday, Mark Dehler said he had “serious concerns” about the investigation into the Judicial Qualifications Commission convened by the Judiciary Committee of the state House of Representatives.
Weekly hearings scheduled to begin this Thursday before a special panel of lawmakers violate the Georgia Constitution’s separation of powers mandate, Dehler stated in the letter to state Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, the Judiciary Committee chairman. Dehler’s letter was in response to a phone call from Willard asking him to appear voluntarily before the seven-member House “study committee.”
“I believe a committee of the House of Representatives has no authority to investigate the actions or operations of the JQC or any other unit of the judicial branch of state government,” Dehler wrote. The former director also informed Willard that he does not believe the legislator has legal authority to subpoena him.