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Some Claim Ga. House Speaker Delayed Court Cases: A Talk With AJC Investigative Reporter

Some claim Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, an attorney, has repeatedly slowed down the process of trying cases involving his clients. An investigation found that Ralston has often cited a state law to get postponements. Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Johnny Edwards talked with WABE’s Denis O'Hayer on "All Things Considered" about the investigation.
Some claim Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, an attorney, has repeatedly slowed down the process of trying cases involving his clients. An investigation found that Ralston has often cited a state law to get postponements. Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Johnny Edwards talked with WABE’s Denis O'Hayer on "All Things Considered" about the investigation.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press file

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, is an attorney. Many of his clients are people accused of crimes. But some of the alleged crime victims claim the speaker has repeatedly slowed down the process of trying cases involving his clients.

An investigation by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV found the speaker has often cited a long-standing state law to get postponements.

The law grants leaves to lawyer-lawmakers so they can take care of their legislative duties.

Johnny Edwards is the AJC reporter who worked on the story. He spoke with WABE’s Denis O’Hayer on “All Things Considered.”

Note: Speaker Ralston’s office declined WABE’s interview request, and those from the AJC. But his office provided a statement from the speaker, which read in part:

“Legislative leave is a long-established provision of Georgia law. … like other members of the General Assembly, I utilize this provision outside of the legislative session, when necessary, to attend to my legislative duties as both a state representative, and Speaker of the House.”