2010 Georgia Code
§ 45-11-4 - Unprofessional conduct; misdemeanor; applicability; indictment

O.C.G.A. 45-11-4 (2010)
45-11-4. Unprofessional conduct; misdemeanor; applicability; indictment

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) "County officer" shall mean any elected county officer, including the judge of the probate court, clerk of the superior court, tax receiver, tax collector, and tax commissioner where such office has replaced the tax receiver and tax collector, and any county commissioner.

(2) "Municipal officer" shall mean any mayor or elected member of any municipal governing authority.

(3) "Public officer" shall mean a county officer, a municipal officer, and state officials as provided in Code Section 45-15-11.

(b) A public officer may be charged under this Code section for:

(1) Malpractice, misfeasance, or malfeasance in office;

(2) Using oppression or tyrannical partiality in the administration or under the color of his or her office;

(3) When required by law, willfully refusing or failing to preside in or hold his or her court at the regular terms thereof, or when it is his or her duty under the law to do so;

(4) Using any other deliberate means to delay or avoid the due course or proceeding of law; or

(5) Willfully and knowingly demanding more cost than he or she is entitled to by law in the administration and under color of his or her office.

(c) A conviction for violating subsection (b) of this Code section shall be punished as for a misdemeanor and, upon conviction in a court of competent jurisdiction, the accused shall be removed from office.

(d) This Code section shall only apply to a public officer charged under subsection (b) of this Code section. This Code section shall not apply when a public officer is charged with any other crime alleged to have occurred while such official was in the performance of an official duty.

(e) This Code section shall only apply to a public officer holding office at the time of indictment and not to former office holders.

(f) Any indictment brought pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section shall specially set forth the merits of the complaint against the accused public officer. A copy of the proposed bill of indictment shall be served on the accused public officer at least 15 days before it is presented to the grand jury.

(g) The accused shall have the right to appear before the grand jury to make such sworn statement as he or she shall desire at the conclusion of the presentation of the state's evidence. The accused shall not be subject to examination, either direct or cross, and shall not have the right individually or through his or her counsel to examine the state's witnesses. The accused and his or her counsel shall have the right to be present during the presentation of all evidence and alleged statements of the accused on the proposed indictment, presentment, or accusation, after which the accused and his or her counsel shall retire instanter from the grand jury room to permit the grand jury to deliberate upon the indictment.

(h) At any time during the presentation of evidence or during deliberations, the grand jury may amend the indictment or instruct the district attorney to cause a new indictment to be drawn as in any other case. In such case, a copy of the amendment or new indictment, if it relates to the accused public official, shall be provided to the accused public official and his or her counsel.

(i) If a true bill is returned by the grand jury, the indictment shall, as in other cases, be published in open court and shall be placed on the superior court criminal docket of cases to be tried by a petit jury.

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