COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A three-person commission that includes the recently retired Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court has been appointed by the governor to examine the recent indictment of Muscogee County District Attorney Mark Jones.
Retired Chief Justice Harold Melton, South Georgia Judicial Circuit District Attorney Joe Mulholland of Bainbridge, and Cherokee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Samir Patel of Cartersville were appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
Jones was indicted on Sept. 7 on nine counts of alleged criminal misconduct during his first eight months in office. The charges against Jones include allegedly asking a Columbus Police officer to lie under oath so that an involuntary manslaughter charge could be upgraded to murder.
The commission, under the Georgia code, has 14 days to make a recommendation to Kemp on whether Jones should be suspended while the charges work their way through the legal system.
Jones has petitioned to the court for a speedy trial and the case. All the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit judges have recused themselves. Superior Court Judge Katherine Lumsden of the Houston Circuit has been appointed the judge. The case is being prosecuted by the Georgia Attorney General’s Office.
Earlier this week separate charges against Jones, alleging that he and others damaged the Columbus Civic Center parking lot were dropped by Special Prosecutor Brian Patterson.
That case went to trial last week and ended in a mistrial declared by Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Monroe after witness misconduct. The charges stemmed from a 2020 campaign rap video that then-candidate Mark Jones taped. Drivers did donuts during the taping of the video.