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Carrollton Rep. Calls for Georgia House Speaker To Step Down

A state legislator from Carroll County is among 10 state representatives on Friday who signed a resolution calling for house speaker David Ralston to step down.

Recent media reports have targeted Ralston, an attorney, for taking advantage of a state law that allows members of the Georgia General Assembly, who are attorneys for a party to a case which is pending, to be granted a continuance of the case during any legislative session or special session, as well as during times the lawmaker’s “presence elsewhere is required by his or her duties with the general assembly.”

This law has allowed the speaker to repeatedly postpone court dates for clients charged with child molestation, child cruelty, assault, terroristic threats and drunk driving, among other things. In some instances, for longer than a decade.

District 18 State Rep Kevin Cooke of Carrollton is calling for the speaker to step down.

He said he accepts that actions being discussed are legal, but suggests that we should expect better ethics from the house speaker.

“Technically right now, by law, the speaker is allowed to do what he is doing. The argument is should he,” Cooke telling WLBB radio. “As the leader of the House of Representatives, should you use your legislative privilege to keep things out of the court system for your clients based off of your ability to use your legislative privilege for leave to put those cases off for years and years on end. Is that something ethically that the leader of the House of Representatives should be doing.”

Rep. David Clark of Buford filed the resolution calling for Speaker Ralston to step down, accusing Ralston of abusing his power by delaying more than 50 cases of his clients citing legislative privilege. Clark became especially upset when one of those cases involved a man accused of raping a teenager six years ago.

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