January 20, 2017
In addition, he hired Angie Steele (former Magistrate) to be Deputy Clerk of Courts; she lost the election for Magistrate Judge in 2016.
Less than 3 weeks after starting his new term in office (he ran unopposed in 2016), Dan Jordan has announced he is retiring as Clerk of Superior Court. Part of his announcement states, “I will be retiring as Jasper County Clerk of Courts effective March 13, 2017. Chief Deputy Clerk Lynda Gasses will assume office at that time. No special election is called for. Lynda has over 25 years of experience and already knows how to do the job. She will have the vital assistance of deputy clerks Chrissy Mason, Tonya Little and LeAnn Airington. Additionally, I’m excited to announce that Angie Steele will return to this office as deputy clerk filling the vacancy left by my departure.”
Since the announcement, first on his Facebook page, people have questioned Dan’s ability to appoint the Deputy Clerk (his sister) as Clerk of Courts. TWG has searched the State Law concerning this, and found the following:
2014 Georgia Code
Title 15 – COURTS
Chapter 6 – SUPERIOR COURTS
Article 2 – CLERKS OF SUPERIOR COURTS
§ 15-6-53 – Appointment of clerk; actions by interim clerk; special elections
Universal Citation: GA Code § 15-6-53 (2014)
(a) In any county in which a chief deputy clerk has been appointed pursuant to Code Section 15-6-59, the chief deputy clerk shall become the clerk of superior court if the clerk of superior court dies, resigns, is removed from office pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 45-2-1, or otherwise vacates office. The chief deputy clerk shall hold office for the unexpired term of his or her predecessor, provided that more than two years of the clerk’s term of office have expired at the time the clerk vacates office. If more than two years of the clerk’s term of office have not expired at the time the clerk vacates office, a special election shall be held, as provided in subsection (c) of Code Section 21-2-540, at least 120 days but no later than 365 days after the date the vacancy occurred. The person elected on such date shall hold office for the unexpired term of his or her predecessor. The returns of the election shall be made to the Governor, who shall immediately commission the person elected clerk.
People are asking, TWG is asking, how can Dan Jordan appoint his own successor when the law says a special election SHALL be held? What law is he basing his statement on that no special election will be required?
It appears Dan Jordan has a plan to get Angie Steele in the position of Clerk of Courts without an election and without allowing the citizens their own choice for the position.
If he can appoint the current deputy clerk, and hire Angie Steele as the new deputy clerk, then when his sister retires before the next election, Angie Steele will automatically become the next Clerk of Courts. Pretty slick, huh?
Following is Dan Jordan’s retirement announcement:
As of March 10, 2017 I will have had the honor of serving first as deputy clerk and then as your elected Clerk of Courts for 31 years. From the day my predecessor and mentor, Mrs. Jane H. Parrott, hired me I have loved this career and have enjoyed every minute of my service to the citizens of Jasper county, the Ocmulgee judicial circuit and the state of Georgia.
I feel very good about what my staff and I have accomplished during this time. We have embraced new and changing technologies such as the e-filing of court records and internet availability of real estate records. In an effort to keep up with the needs of the public, we now accept debit and credit cards and we also have the ability to renew notary applications online. These are only a few examples. Each new state mandate brings new challenges and we have successfully implemented these and others that have been presented to us.
I believe that the renovation and addition to the courthouse several years ago was a significant accomplishment from which we are still reaping benefits. This was a team effort involving many in the community and I was proud to be involved in that project.
The permanent consolidation of the clerical functions of the superior, juvenile and magistrate courts is an accomplishment that will save taxpayers money every year on an ongoing basis. Along with the Probate court, we have also absorbed many of the duties as well as the caseload of the former Monticello municipal court. I appreciate the recent help of the county commissioners and State Representative Susan Holmes in implementing these accomplishments.
I believe that 31 years of service is a good stopping point for me from the perspective of the county as a whole, the office itself and my own personal situation. As of December 2016 our county government was the best it has been in the 31 years I have been here. Of course the loss of Commissioner Gene Trammell leaves a hole and the challenges of the coming term will be great. I believe that it is time to leave those challenges to others, however.
I will be retiring as Jasper County Clerk of Courts effective March 13, 2017. Chief Deputy Clerk Lynda Gasses will assume office at that time. No special election is called for. Lynda has over 25 years of experience and already knows how to do the job. She will have the vital assistance of deputy clerks Chrissy Mason, Tonya Little and LeAnn Airington. Additionally, I’m excited to announce that Angie Steele will return to this office as deputy clerk filling the vacancy left by my departure. I have been working with these ladies for the past several months to insure a smooth transition. Your property and court records will be in good hands!
On a personal note, I have many retirement projects planned and I’m already setting up a workshop on my property for that purpose. I’ll be doing plenty of traveling as well which will be well documented on Facebook.
I have two months of service left so I won’t say goodbye at this time. However, I want you all to know that serving as your Clerk of Courts has been the greatest honor of my life and I have truly appreciated the opportunity.
With love and gratitude,
Dan Jordan, Jasper County Clerk of Courts
Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.