Drake appointed interim attorney for Macon

Appointment follows Welsh’s departure

jgaines@macon.comNovember 27, 2012 

Judd Drake, Macon’s senior assistant city attorney, has been appointed interim city attorney, according to Chris Floore, director of public affairs in the mayor’s office.

Drake, who arrived as senior assistant city attorney in October 2011, is filling in for Martha Welsh, who resigned this month to move to Asheville, N.C., and spend time with her family. Drake said Tuesday that he hasn’t talked to Mayor Robert Reichert about whether he’ll be eligible for the position permanently, but welcomes the chance to work with the mayor and City Council.

“(I will) continue the fine work begun by my predecessor,” Drake said.

He also looks forward to continuing work on the consolidation of Macon, Bibb County and Payne City governments, he said. In that union, scheduled for January 2014, the city attorney’s office will cease to exist.

Drake, from Metter in Candler County, is a Mercer University law graduate and worked for years as Candler County attorney. He served there a Magistrate Court judge and was elected to State Court.

He went to Emory University for a divinity degree and became a Methodist pastor in a county near Macon, but the ministry was “a difficult adjustment for my family,” so Drake returned to practicing law, he said in January.

Welsh told city officials Nov. 1 that she was leaving after 18 years in the city attorney’s office, and 19 months as city attorney following the departure of Pope Langstaff. She worked until Thanksgiving, and is using accumulated vacation time until the end of the year.

To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.

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