Smith bench seat agreement seems done - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Smith bench seat agreement seems done

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April 12, 2006

Americus -- A superior court judge and a commission that wanted to remove him from the bench strike a deal, but we won't know what it is until next week.

The Judicial Qualifications Commission asked for a temporary injunction to remove Judge Rucker Smith from his position as chief judge with pay, until the outcome of his trial.

Smith is accused of beating up his former girlfriend, Rachel Oliver, during a fight last summer.

Oliver told authorities Smith pushed her down, threw her off the porch, then later dragged her before she was able to run away. Smith told police he did not hit Oliver.

He has been a judge since 1993, and says he has been tough on domestic violence offenders.

Wednesday, a hearing was scheduled to decide if Smith will be removed from the bench, but the two parties met behind closed doors to come up with a tentative agreement without a hearing. They are now working to resolve the wording of the decision, and will reconvene Monday morning at 10:00.

Judge Smith's trial on battery and simple battery charges is now set for Monday, May 1st.

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