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Board wants to look at court consolidation

The Grady County commission would like to examine the possibility and feasibility of combining some of the inferior courts in the county. Tuesday night the board instructed County Attorney Kevin S. Cauley to study a possible consolidation of courts and report back to the board.
District 3 Commissioner Charles Norton broached the subject and said it should be done prior to the 2012 elections, which would be when elections for both probate judge and chief magistrate would be held.
Norton is interested in knowing if the probate court and magistrate court could be consolidated or combined with state court.
“If it would be more efficient and would save the taxpayers money then I think we should look at it,” Norton said.
County officials say that incumbent Probate Judge Sadie W. Voyles and Chief Magistrate Larry Bearden, who has been hospitalized for approximately two months, have indicated they do not intend on seeking reelection.
With that being the case Norton and the other commissioners believe this would be the opportune time to consolidate the courts if it is possible.
“It won’t hurt to look at it,” District 1 Commissioner Elwyn Childs commented.
The county attorney said he would investigate whatever options would be available and would report back to the board.

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