John Oxendine’s dad admits land deal caused his early departure from judgeship

Updated at 5 p.m.: John Oxendine’s Republican campaign for governor just issued the following statement on behalf of his father, Jim Oxendine, who until last week was a senior judge for the Gwinnett County Superior Court:

For the last 26 years, I’ve served the state of Georgia in some capacity as a judge. In 2001, I stepped down from the bench and became a part-time Senior Superior court judge. 

Because of questions that have arisen regarding my executing certain documents with a power of attorney, last week I accelerated my retirement which had been planned for the end of the year. 


I want the people of Georgia to know that I have been honored to serve them.

And the following comes from the candidate:

My 81 year old father, who has been a judge for the last three decades, had planned to retire at the end of the year.  Last week he decided to step down from his part-time position.

My dad has served the people of Georgia and I am proud to stand up for him.  He has been a light to my pathway my whole life and career. I love my dad. He is a wonderful man.

Original post:

Doug Richards with 11Alive News has the story of the morning, with a report that Jim Oxendine, a Gwinnett County senior judge, has been dismissed.

The judge is the father of state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, the front-running Republican candidate for governor. The video:

For the reading enabled:

The judge signed papers for a land deal that is now under investigation….

Last week, according to one Gwinnett County official, “The (other Superior) Court judges informed him that they would not utilize his services as a senior judge any longer.”

Three additional Gwinnett County court officials confirmed that … but did not want their names used. Oxendine vacated his office Friday, according to Court Administrator Philip Boudewyns — but he would not say why.

The Gwinnett District Attorney’s office provided public records with Judge Oxendine’s signature. It appears several times in a real estate transaction that is now under investigation by the DA. The land, near Lawrenceville, was sold to Gwinnett County. The DA is asking a grand jury to investigate whether the county illegally used tax dollars to purchase this and other parcels from well connected landowners.

Jim Oxendine is listed on the paperwork as the power of attorney for the seller of the land near Lawrenceville. His secretary’s signature appears as the notary public — and Oxendine gives his address as the Gwinnett County Courthouse.

[D.A. Danny] Porter says the signatures show the judge was practicing law on the side.

Neither has it been a good week for U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, another GOP candidate for governor. The Gainesville congressman began the week by apologizing for his use of the phrase “ghetto grandmother.” This from today’s AJC:

U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, a Republican candidate for governor in 2010, has ended a nearly 20-year business arrangement with the state that earned his company about $300,000 a year.

State records show that Deal and his business partner Ken Cronan have chosen for now not to apply to be one of the Department of Revenue’s locations where rebuilt salvaged vehicles are inspected.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in August that Deal personally intervened with state leaders to preserve the obscure state program that granted him a regional monopoly. Deal on three occasions in the past year and a half met with Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham to question changes Graham wanted to make to the program. The state has, since 1982, required any vehicle that is totaled and rebuilt to pass a safety inspection before it can be given a new title.

It’s not President Obama, but it looks like the White House is finally going to hear out U.S. Rep. Tom Price on health care reform, according to my AJC colleague in Washington, Bob Keefe.

Price, the Roswell Republican, has been bugging Obama for an audience ever since the president told Congress and the world that his door was open to any Republican who had something to offer up on health care reform.

As a former orthopedic surgeon and chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, Price not surprisingly has had plenty to say about health care reform – and has complained regularly that he wasn’t getting Obama’s ear as promised.

Price and his committee have introduced their own health care reform bill that mainly calls for tax cuts and tort reform to help get more people insured and reduce insurance companies and doctors’ bills. Price also is quick to point out that numerous Republicans have offered up other bills and suggestions on health care, but have gotten little if any response from Democratic leaders.

Today, the White House is sending Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to sit-down with Price and other Republican Study Committee members to hear them out. She’s scheduled to hold a closed-door meeting with them at the Capitol at approximately 5 p.m.

It is doubtful Sebelius will win over the staunch Republicans to the President’s health care plan. But it’s a pretty good bet Price will have something to say after the meeting.

File this under The Little Guy Is Doomed, So Let’s Cut Out the Middleman: The state Public Service Commission on Tuesday cleared the way for AGL to build a new natural gas pipeline, but only after agreeing that residential customers will be charged as much as business customers for the project.

That’s the good news, according to my AJC colleague David Markiewicz:

Initially, AGL had proposed that residential customers pay 95 cents more each month, with businesses paying an extra $2.85 per month….

Commissioner Robert Baker called the decision to charge residential and business customers the same amount “egregious” and “regressive” and said it sets a bad precedent.

Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, who proposed the payment plan, said businesses are under financial pressure.

When Baker asked who residential customers can “pass on” their higher gas costs to, McDonald said, “The residential customer will get it one way or another.”

And from the Thank-you, Dear God, For Making It Stop Department, via the Washington Post:

Fractured feet did in former House majority leader Tom DeLay in his bid to make himself over from scandal-tainted pol to that nice old man who won the cheesetastic Mirrored Disco Ball on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

The rump-shaking Texas Republican announced his resignation from the running Tuesday night — 24 hours after he ignored the advice of show producers and a doctor in order to samba to War’s “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” while dressed in red and white stripes, a big GOP elephant across his back, with partner Cheryl Burke, who wore a backless little white-stars-on-field-of-blue number with a Democratic donkey planted on her thigh.

While you ponder that, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:

  • Some will abandon flooded homes, Cobb officials say.
  • Tort reform challenged over ER care.
  • Cobb County judge tosses gun dealer’s lawsuit against NYC.
  • Cobb teen told he can’t dress like a female at school.
  • Atlanta board OKs plan for Midtown nightclub.
  • Fulton County court fines Atlanta Councilman Willis $25,000 for not registering charity.
  • American Cancer Society eliminates 80 jobs in Atlanta.
  • Olympic gold medalist robbed at gunpoint.
  • Government needs to steer clear of trade war, U.S. trade rep says.
  • Delta maintains low costs, airport gains some control.
  • Some opinion:

  • Political memo for Georgia Democrats.
  • Lessons for the GOP from the Gipper.
  • Atlanta’s sewers need state and federal aid.
  • And from beyond:

  • NYT: Support builds for tax credit to help hiring.
  • WP: Obama tells bipartisan meeting he has no plans to lower troop levels in Afghanistan.
  • WSJ: Behind Afghan war debate, a battle of two books rages.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    47 comments Add your comment

    GoOx

    October 7th, 2009
    9:10 am

    Deal, Real, Ghetto, Steal please do the GOP a favor and drop out now, we don’t need your kind representing the state of Georgia

    SO

    October 7th, 2009
    9:12 am

    I nearly spit my dentures out when I saw that story on the news.

    It gets worse though and there are likely to be mass resignations out there in Gwinnett… Apparently the County Commissioner who pushed the land purchase through, Sherry Lassiter, works for Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine. And the other guy pushing this land deal – Charles Bannister – a big backer of Oxendine’s.

    We do not need this corruption in Georgia. These folks need to be froggmarched to jail ASAP for this corruption.

    professional skeptic

    October 7th, 2009
    9:35 am

    Apples never fall far from the trees…

    Oxendine for Private Citizen

    October 7th, 2009
    9:45 am

    Another ding for Oxendine is good for Georgia. Anyone who attacks in-City neighborhoods with silly ideas about ramming uneeded highway tunnels down their throats to score a few cheap points with suburbanites needs a pink slip.

    ricardo

    October 7th, 2009
    9:49 am

    Price doesn’t care about healthcare reform. He’s in the pockets of the industry and thinks he’s meant to be the next Senator from the great state of GA.

    No More Corruption

    October 7th, 2009
    9:50 am

    I think it’s safe to say that everyone is not surprised by this latest development. Judge Oxendine was a crooked corrupt Judge and his son is a crooked corrupt Insurance Commissioner.

    One can only hope that with an aggressive prosecuter, both Oxendine’s will finally be held accountable for their corruption and shake down pay to play business style. Georgia will be a better state when they are behind bars.

    Stan

    October 7th, 2009
    9:54 am

    More examples of why I will not be voting for Deal or Ox. These folks need to go work in the private sector and leave the government work to someone with ethics. The whold Gwinnett commission needs to be sent packing as well. The arrogance is astounding.

    Boots

    October 7th, 2009
    10:04 am

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who remembers, but the Gwinnett county situation is like taking a trip down memory lane: Gene Talmadge, Herman Talmadge, Marvin Griffin, Lester Maddox and on and on and on.

    GoKaren

    October 7th, 2009
    10:06 am

    Handel is the only person in the race that has enacted the toughest ethics laws of any county in the state, and then put tough ethics standards in place when she became SoS.

    If you want an ethical candidate – Vote Handel

    AH

    October 7th, 2009
    10:13 am

    wheat from the chaff.

    AngryVoter

    October 7th, 2009
    10:26 am

    Remember the Peter Sellers movie, Being There? The Oxendines appear to be modern day Chancey Gardners. Like father like son. These men appear to be buffoons who are incapable of thinking through what they say or do.

    Thanks for the entertainment, Oxendines. Your antics are hysterical. It’s only upsetting that we will be funding Sr.’s retirement as he sits in jail now.

    Brenda

    October 7th, 2009
    10:29 am

    Now let’s start putting the heat on Lawrenceville’s Mayor – Rex Millsap. That guy should get the all time award for WORST LIAR!!!! He definitive needs to be replaced ASAP.

    Tancred

    October 7th, 2009
    10:38 am

    Whether it’s patronage and corruption in Atlanta’s mostly black machine, or good ol’ boy palm greasin’ with the white Bubba politicos downstate, this state is a political and cultural joke. Oxendine with thump his bible for votes and black politicos will screw their own constituency after they get elected because they are the “right” color. How many time must we read “Phone calls to so-and-so’s office were not returned”? If they are not corrupt now, they soon will be. And yes, this does happen in other states, but right now Georgia is the poster child for F’d up governance. Barnes got dumped for changing the flag? What does that tell you about the voters? They too are to blame.

    Norbert

    October 7th, 2009
    10:52 am

    So what does this have to do with John Oxendine? The Atlanta newspapers already after him, and the campaign hardly begun…

    Retired Lawyer

    October 7th, 2009
    10:54 am

    I’d like to think this is an isolated case, but it isn’t. Cronyism is at epidemic levels in Georgia politics. Gwinnett, unfortunately, is only the tip of the iceberg.

    Ga Values

    October 7th, 2009
    10:59 am

    Boots
    10:04 am

    Say what you want about the rest of the bunch but Lester Maddox was not a crook. Lester left office poorer than he entered it, I don’t think you can say that about any other Governor.

    Old Enough To Know Better

    October 7th, 2009
    11:07 am

    My dad worked for the state back when marvin Griffin was governor and he said that I wouldn’t believe the shady and underhanded deals and actions that administration pulled. Oxendine is the same way. Having met the man, I can honestly say, he will say anything to get your vote, and once voted in, he will promptly ignore you if you aren’t rich enough to put money or business in his back pocket. There is not a worse candidate for governor and the only good thing about him running, is that he will no longer be Insurance Commissioner.

    HopeandChange

    October 7th, 2009
    11:23 am

    This is why Obama was elected, to enact hope and change. Go Obama and democrat leadership!

    Doug C.

    October 7th, 2009
    11:25 am

    If John Oxendine becomes Governor, does that mean the siren in his Ford Expedition will always be on and will his dad be appointed the state’s official real estate attorney?

    Mutts R Stupid

    October 7th, 2009
    11:29 am

    J OxenSwine is a psychopath, in my opinion, based on his misuse of State cars and the flashing blue lights. Never vote for a psychopath, we all know where that leads, imho.

    Brenda

    October 7th, 2009
    11:41 am

    Norbert, you want to know what this has to do with John Oxendine?? Have you heard of the phrase “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”? And to add another “kink”, John’s step-mother is the head of the library board in Gwinnett and she is pushing to have the library in Dacula closed due to the budget cuts… and they are going to be opening a NEW library in Hamilton Mill in Dec so she says that we can drive to Hamilton Mill instead of using our library, which is just 3 years old. But wait…. let’s see why this is happening… could it be because Mike Beaudreau, the county commissioner for the Dacula district has outright pledged his support for Karen Handel, who just happens to be running against John Oxendine for GA’s Governor. Now that’s dirty politics… NOW she’s involving THE CHILDREN of Gwinnett County, particularly those in Dacula. She is closing THEIR library because our county commissioner is supporting an opponent of her step-son’s….. Like I said “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”!

    Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

    October 7th, 2009
    11:43 am

    While it is true that Oxendine is scum, father and son: Karen Handel also is. Though arriving here in the Promised Land of Georgia and Atlanta a carpetbagging Roman Catholic – operative and exemplar of the Gay Old Pervert party – she had the opportunity in the Diebold matter, to rise above obvious corrupt political lineage, to institute a paper trail for elections that would make Georgia’s voting a bastion of electoral integrity in America.

    “Elect” is a term of holiness in the civil religion of credal Americans, regardless of sectarian denomination or affiliation. Had she effected righteousness and confidence in our vote she would have been healing her own corrupt soul as well as making Georgia an even better place to live and to raise our children.

    That she chose not to helps all with minds to know that she is yet an agent of the Roman Anti-Christ, as are all, like the Oxendines, who betray the People’s Trust by serving unrighteousness in holy public office.

    Unless the Democrats can convince 9/11 Commission-quitter and American Hero Max Cleland to continue serving Our Nation’s Greatest State as Governor of Georgia, or find someone of virtue and integrity, unlike Roy Barnes, to serve in his stead, Jeff Chapman appears to be the man for the job.

    May G-d continue to bless Georgia, and America again.

    Jeffersonian Exegesis http://theamericanfundament.blogspot.com

    Lucas

    October 7th, 2009
    11:58 am

    I’m a Democrat, but I’m voting for Handel in the Republican primary. I thought her voter registration crusade was, well, bad, but she seems like a decent, honest person. The more I learn about Oxendine the more I think he’s a snake in the grass. Now, FairTax for Georgia I think I’d like – but not if it meant that I had to deal with Oxendine as governor.

    Heh. I’m betting that the Republican primary is just going to get bloodier from here out, though.

    Mutts R Stupid

    October 7th, 2009
    12:00 pm

    Yeah, Karen HandlesDogPoop is crooked scum too, in my opinion. I could vote for Max, even though he was a gung ho jack booted thug prior to his injury. He has learned his lesson, war ain’t a game like football, real people die and lose body parts, including the most technologically advanced side. PS, we were in the wrong in Viet Nam, not the North, and not the Cong. It was their country, not ours.

    Brenda

    October 7th, 2009
    12:02 pm

    Will… I agree with you in regards to Karen Handel. On two occasions I have had the opportunity to introduce myself to Karen and John and I asked them the same question regarding an area of interest of mine and neither one of them gave me a sufficient answer, NOR has either one of them returned e-mails in which their assistants took down my name, e-mail address, and the topic I want answers to.

    I have absolutely no faith in our future with the “names in the hat” at this time.

    Corruption Rules

    October 7th, 2009
    12:10 pm

    This state and it’s politicians (and the campaign finance system) are so hopelessly corrupt. it is a wonder that this state functions at all.
    Politicians here enter government for the sole purpose of lining their pockets at the expense of the taxpayers. In the process of handing over government and it’s functions to their “private partner” cronies who are awarded mega-million dollar contracts funded directly or indirectly by the taxpayers, the political leadership has seen fit to furlough and lay off huge numbers of folks who used to make the government run. Then they complain that the government doesn’t function well and they need to privatize everything by handing over even more government functions to their political donors and cronies. No wonder so many state employess are taking early retirement. Their services are not appreciated or wanted by the folks who run things. They have cut funding for veterans homes, mental health, the court system, juvenile justice, the forestry commission, DA’s offices, Public Defenders, agricultural extension agents, the State Ethics Commission, and many, many other critical branches of government. Meanwhile they are handing out contracts worth hundreds of millions to privatize state parks (Jekyll Island), state park amenities, probation departments, prisons, etc. And you can bet all these recipients of state contracts are HUGE donors to the campaigns of the leadership. Does anyone in this state CARE that it ’s governance has degenerated into a culture of corruption and spoils? Where is the FBI? The U.S. Attorney? The Georgia Attorney General?

    AngryVoter

    October 7th, 2009
    12:11 pm

    Tancred – Barnes didn’t lose because he changed the flag. Many who applauded the change didn’t vote for him because he was generally incompetent. The flag was a symbol. When it came to it, Barnes did nothing concrete. There was nothing he did that had any positive impact on the people of Georgia, nor is he proposing anything that anyone could reasonably believe would actually get done and have any impact if he were elected again.

    You couldn’t possibly believe more than half the voters were motivated by the flag issue.

    Lucas

    October 7th, 2009
    12:17 pm

    Dunno, AngryVoter – I’m a pretty big fan of the GRTA transit system. When they started it, it was referred to as “give Roy total authority.” I suspect that if you stacked Sonny’s and Roy’s report cards next to each other, Roy would look pretty good. I also really like his proposed initiatives on the water issue. But you’re right, whether he would be able to get any of it done is a different story.

    Screw Up Birther, Deather,

    October 7th, 2009
    12:20 pm

    So dear ole dad was playing land monpoly with the Judical system…….lol

    Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

    October 7th, 2009
    12:21 pm

    Only the corrupt rich and their witting and unwitting agents of fascist plutocracy want the “FairTax,” a manifestly unfair scam to lower or erase taxes on the rich and to place under control and on an accounting dole the poor and low-wage earners of our society. It’s a “no-brainer:” completely un-American and un-G-dly.

    General Sherman

    October 7th, 2009
    12:29 pm

    Thank you Bubba for being so thoughtful you redneck idiot!

    [...] as reported here this morning, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will sit-down this afternoon with [...]

    Tancred

    October 7th, 2009
    1:13 pm

    Well AngryVoter, I remember that even otherwise-willing-to-be-more-progressive, rural GA Democrats didn’t like the flag change, and in 2002, Sonny “Pray For Rain” Purdue won the election. (That whole praying for rain thing worked out pretty well, didn’t it?)

    Compared to a guy like Oxendine, Barnes comes out looking like Karl Marx, at least to most Georgians (and that’s why he could never win anyway). To me, Barnes looks like the ONLY chance that Georgia will not continue to spiral into the nation’s # 1 cultural and political embarrassment. Many people don’t realize that Atlanta and GA in general were moving in a better direction under Barnes. There seemed to be a positive vibe about 10 years ago. Lately it’s been nothing but corruption and lip service to the Bible thumpers.

    Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

    October 7th, 2009
    1:25 pm

    Brenda – Wesley Knapp, running for Atlanta City Council, prompted in me the same misgivings you got from Handel and Oxendine. If we don’t nominate and make elect real people; true, humble humans, we have none to blame but ourselves for corrupt government.

    MerryMary

    October 7th, 2009
    2:14 pm

    In the scheme of things it’s a small thing, but I still haven’t gotten over Oxendine using his emergency siren in an unauthorized way. And wasn’t there something about him buying state cars for his department when the government was in an austerity program and all departments were forbidden to buy cars. All this sounds like a man who feels “entitled” and such would be a scary thing to have in the governor’s office.

    sexy1977

    October 7th, 2009
    2:49 pm

    A crooked politician in the racist/republican south!!! surprise…..surprise!!!

    PappyHappy

    October 7th, 2009
    3:49 pm

    As an independent, I supported Perdue in the last election, and for that matter, just about the entire republican ticket. NOT THIS TIME!! Where are we today, compared to seven years ago?? NOT VERY FAR!! One could ask the question: WHERE HAVE ALL OF THE JOBS GONE, AND WHY? Republicans, please spare me with your notion that we are in a recession! How about the Ford and GM plants — and their sub contractors? Another question: WHERE IS THE IMPROVEMENT IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS? Our state is near the bottom!!

    Time for a house cleaning, and if the democrats become too arrogant, can kick them out in four years.

    WHAT THIS STATE REALLY NEEDS IS A THIRD PARTY, AND TERM LIMITS!!

    Tom

    October 7th, 2009
    3:50 pm

    Tancred @1:13 pm——A-men to that.

    Chris

    October 7th, 2009
    3:58 pm

    It’s a good start, now let’s rid of the rest of the Gwinnett County Judical system.

    Republican Gut Check

    October 7th, 2009
    5:31 pm

    Sounds like Daddy Ox is more like his boy than most of us thought. Why did it not surprise me for this to be handled by a press release from Ox’s campaign? If Ox had as many conservative credentials as he has issued press releases, Ox would already be Governor. The closest Ox will get to the Governor’s mansion is he drives a Crown Vic into Buckhead.

    Disgusted w/Oxendine

    October 7th, 2009
    5:42 pm

    Maybe John Oxendine’s dad will get as much media attention (”lead news story at 6 pm”) as the young father who was charged with forgery and insurance fraud in South Georgia last year. John Oxendine was there that morning looking spiffy for tv news crew.He was only there to get a tv commercial out of it for himself. You should have seen it. Oxendine didn’t do a follow up to the story to say the young man turned out to be totally innocent of all charges. He offered no apology for ruining this young family’s entire lives. This young man worked so hard to take care of his wife and young children. He hasn’t had a paycheck in over a year because of this situation. They cannot afford to buy desperately needed medicine for their young child right now because of this. The only reason this situation even happened was to further his race for office. I hope what he started will come full circle, and he will know what it feels like to have your life totally destroyed. Apparently Oxendine’s lack of morals runs in the family. Maybe you’re just getting what you deserve John Oxendine, and I hope it costs you the election.

    AngryVoter

    October 7th, 2009
    6:27 pm

    Tancred – Your revisionist history is defied by the fact that the majority of Georgians booted the fool from office. If the Utopia you described existed, the voters would have responded in kind.

    While a small fringe of voters worried about the flag, the majority of voters remember Barnes as a man who tried to create fake lottery worries and pass them off as the important reason to vote for him. The voters knew Purdue wasn’t touching the lottery and realized Roy had no reason to be governor.

    Please remind me, what exactly did he accomplish while Governor? Please don’t list things that other people started and that he was unable to destroy in four years, but what was it that he actually accomplished? What is his legacy, other than the symbolic flag thing? Seriously, I cannot remember a single positive thing.

    [...] says a judge who practices law on the side can be removed from office. Jim Galloway at the AJC has received a statement from Jim Oxendine saying, "Because of questions that have arisen regarding my executing certain documents with a [...]

    goox

    October 7th, 2009
    9:33 pm

    True leadership from my man ox! Ohhh yeah my man ox….with those big, strong arms…mmmmm

    Ted

    October 7th, 2009
    11:56 pm

    Enter your comments

    Did anyone else think John Oxendine looked like a liar when making up the story about his dad’s “early retirement” on the news tonight? YEAH, THAT’S THE TICKET!!!

    Michelle

    October 8th, 2009
    7:14 am

    Judge Oxendine was paid for 170 days at $500 per day compared to 53 days and 34 for the other 2 judges, doesn’t that sound way out of line, and was he also paid by the state for the day he was privately practicing law too? If candidate Oxendine cannot keep up with his father’s own unethical and illegal acts, can we really expect him to watch over Georgia’s government, I don’t think so, and do we really want anothe mistake like Purdue.

    Handel for Private Citizen

    October 12th, 2009
    1:12 pm

    To GoKaren: Ms. Handel’s ethics only go so far. I doubt she will be anything but a catalyst for those trying to rip Fulton County apart.