Perdue appointing former legislator to head up public defender system

SMYRNA, Ga. – Gov. Sonny Perdue last week said he is planning to appoint a former state legislator to serve as the executive director of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council.

Rep. Rob Teilhet, D-Smyrna, will replace Mack Crawford, who is leaving the post to serve as a superior court judge in the Griffin Judicial Circuit. The council is an independent agency aimed at ensuring that defendants represented by a public defender receive adequate counsel.

“The constitutional right to counsel is a promise to every Georgian that must be kept,” Rep. Teilhet said in a statement. “I am humbled to be a part of such important work, and I look forward to working with the Council and others to ensure that Georgia protects this constitutional right in a way that delivers the best value to our clients and the taxpayers.”

Teilhet was first elected to the state house in 2002 representing Smyrna and part of Marietta, but did not seek re-election this year and instead ran for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General. Teilhet lost in the primary to Ken Hodges, the former District Attorney for Dougherty County.

“Even more important than his legal and legislative experience, Rob brings to this position a passion for seeking justice and protecting Georgia’s citizens,” Perdue said in a statement. “I am pleased that he has chosen to continue in public service and I appreciate his willingness to take on a difficult challenge.”

Hodges faces former Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens, a Republican, and attorney Don Smart, a Libertarian, in November’s general election.

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