Georgians who have been keeping up with the actions of the state Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) for the last decade have to be scratching their heads about an Atlanta Journal Constitution article this week that said longtime JQC chief investigator Richard Hyde resigned “under pressure.”
Hyde’s investigations since 2007 have led to the removal of some 65 bad judges around the state with his methods being used as an international model of how to investigate judicial corruption and misconduct.
Hyde says he was blind-sided by the unattributed allegation and was more disturbed that he was not asked for a response before the story was published. “The reporter regularly assigned to cover the commission is on another story and I am confident the entire events that led to my resignation as investigator would have been fully and fairly explained had that not been the case,” he says.
It’s interesting that no other news organization has described Hyde leaving the investigators job under questionable circumstances. The very same day he resigned, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Hyde to the JQC as a member.
Hyde was named “Newsmaker of the Year” in 2010 by the Daily Report for his work for the JQC and was recently featured in the nationally broadcast radio show “This American Life.”
“I had been considering leaving the commission as investigator for several months due to a lack of leadership and various internal dysfunction. There was absolutely no “pressure” for me to resign. If there had been, I would be the first one to say so,” Hyde says. “I’m glad to be a commissioner so I can help fix the myriad problems we face, including creating a separate hearing panel to rule on charges filed against our state’s judicial officers.”