Former District Attorney to be Sworn In As Chief Judge for Georgia Court of Appeals


Former Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brian Rickman will be sworn in June 24 as chief judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Rickman says he is looking forward to his two-year term as chief judge.

0:25 {RICKMAN: “First and foremost, you are carrying out the will of the other 14 judges. It’s so much different than when I was district attorney. At our court, there is very little you can do unilaterally, so all the decision making has to be collaborative. It’s turned me into a much better listener, a much better navigator of issues, and sort of a bridge builder.”}

Rickman, a 1998 graduate of Piedmont College (now University) was appointed to the Georgia Court of Appeals in November 2015 by then-Gov. Nathan Deal and took office on Jan. 1, 2016.

The chief judge of the court of appeals is responsible for administration of the court and serves as the court’s spokesman.

Rickman serves on the Piedmont University Board of Trustees.

In addition to his time as D.A. for Habersham, Rabun and Stephens counties, and on the Georgia Court of Appeals, Rickman served as a Rabun County jailer, an assistant district attorney, and as an attorney in private practice.

Rickman’s two-year term as chief judge begins July 1.

A limited number of people will attend the June 24 ceremony in person, but it will be livestreamed at

Banks County leaders from multiple levels of government heard Tuesday night that getting a tenant for the former Mount Vernon Mills in Alto would help balance the county’s tax base.

Rope Roberts of Georgia Power Company addressed the Banks County Commission, Development Authority, and Planning Commission about development possibilities for the county.

After the meeting, Banks County Commission Chairman Charles Turk echoed what Roberts said about the need to fill the former Alto plants with a new business and equipment.

0:06 {TURK 1: “If we get something with Mount Vernon Mills, that will get it up there to where we’re pretty comfortable with industry – the numbers on industry.”}

Currently, the industrial sector comprises only about 3% of the Banks County tax digest.

Roberts said ideally that number would be about 5 to 8%.

Turk says the meeting was valuable, including input from some residents who expressed displeasure with both industrial and residential growth.

0:33 {TURK 2: “I think it was good that he had the charts and the numbers to see where we can look at getting a few more of whatever category it is. It was a good, productive meeting and at least hopefully get the commissioners, the development authority, and the planning board kind of all on the same page and where we’re trying to head to, to keep the outlying parts of the county rural but be able to afford to keep it rural by having your commercial.”}

A near-capacity crowd filled the Board Room of the Banks County Courthouse Annex to hear Roberts’ presentation.

Habersham County residents who want an indepth look at the draft Fiscal Year 2022 budget document can view the 230-page document on the county’s website,

The pdf document contains a general overview, including a list of elected officials and administrative personnel, a Habersham County organizational chart, a county fund structure, debt summary and much more.

And, Tallulah Gorge State Park Day Use Area will be closed today due to Tallulah Falls Lake being drawn down.