Judges appoint Crawford chief magistrate

awomack@macon.comOctober 14, 2013 

Temporary Crawford County Chief Magistrate Richard Larry Spencer has been tapped to serve in the position until 2016.

Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Spencer to fill the position in June following the suspension of Judge Andrea Peterman.

Peterman, of Roberta, was charged with theft of fiduciary funds and violation of oath of office in March.

She resigned from her position Oct. 1 and signed a consent order with the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission agreeing never to seek judicial office.

Spencer, 67, expressed interest in continuing to serve as chief magistrate following Peterman’s resignation.

In an order dated Oct. 7, the five Macon Judicial Circuit Superior Court judges appointed Spencer to serve out the remainder of Peterman’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2016.

Spencer, a U.S. Air Force retiree, worked as a magistrate in Philadelphia, N.Y., from 1992 to 2011.

He and his wife moved to Georgia in 2012 after searching for property online and finding a house they wanted to remodel in Musella, Spencer said.

Spencer said he plans to run for re-election in 2016.

The GBI launched a criminal investigation into Peterman’s conduct after allegations surfaced early this year that money allegedly had been taken from official funds collected by the magistrate’s office. Although a forensic audit was conducted, the amount of money allegedly misappropriated has not been released.

The criminal case against Peterman still is pending and is scheduled to be presented to grand jurors in October.

Peterman previously worked as clerk of the county’s Probate Court.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.

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