Douglas County probate judge charged with felony in Atlanta

Douglas County Probate Judge Christina Peterson is facing multiple charges after she was arrested early Thursday in Atlanta.

Jail records reveal Peterson is facing felony obstruction of a police officer by using threats or violence and simple battery against a police officer.

According to an Atlanta Police report obtained by FOX 5, an officer working an extra job at the Red Martini Restaurant and Lounge on Peachtree Road in Buckhead went to speak with a woman who was crying in the lounge's valet area early Thursday morning. When the officer approached the woman, he allegedly was hit in the head by Peterson.

The report says that Peterson refused to identify herself and "appeared to be under the influence." After she was taken to jail, Peterson reportedly refused to tell officers her name and instead told them to notify another officer, who shared her identity.

The judge was scheduled to have her first appearance at Fulton County Magistrate Court on Thursday morning, but waived her appearance. 

Christina Peterson (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)

Douglas County probate judge found guilty of ‘systematic incompetence’

In April, Peterson was found guilty by a Judicial Qualifications Commission panel of "systemic incompetence," with the panel recommending that she be removed from office. 

The first-time judge has also been the subject of several FOX 5 I-Team investigations since she took office in late 2020.

The panel determined Peterson ignored courthouse rules, abused courthouse personnel, made inappropriate posts on social media and, in repeated cases, failed to do her job.

A hearing panel recommends Douglas County Probate Court Judge Christina Peterson be removed from office.

The decision came after four separate hearings that began in September 2023. She faced 30 counts of misconduct.

In their report, the hearing panel said Peterson was guilty of "systemic incompetence… (Judges) are expected to act in a manner that promotes the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. Respondent has shown that she cannot — or will not — do so. And so she must go."

The Georgia Supreme Court will ultimately decide whether to approve the hearing panel's recommendation at a later date.