Judd Drake Named Sole Finalist for Athens-Clarke County Attorney Position

Staff Report From Athens CEO

Thursday, June 6th, 2019

Mayor Kelly Girtz announces that Judd Drake is the sole finalist for the position of Attorney for the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government. Current Attorney Bill Berryman is retiring as of June 30, 2019 after serving in the position since 2003.

Mayor Girtz will make a recommendation to the Athens-Clarke County Commission for Drake's approval at a Special Called Session on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Commission Chamber at City Hall, 301 College Avenue. If approved, the two-year appointment would begin on July 1, 2019.

“It is evident from his long history of legal practice that Judd will provide excellent representation to Athens-Clarke County,” said Mayor Girtz. “Especially in his time at Macon-Bibb, he has demonstrated both the sound judgement and creativity to help us maintain our strengths while moving forward into significant new endeavors that will more fully support the people of this great community.” 

Drake has served as the first County Attorney for Macon-Bibb County since its consolidation in 2014. He came to Macon in October 2011 as the City’s Senior Assistant Attorney and was named Interim City Attorney by Mayor Robert Reichert in November 2012. He also served as Interim County Manager for Macon-Bibb County from December 2017 until March 2018 during the county’s search for a permanent manager.

Before serving at the City of Macon, Drake practiced law in his hometown of Metter, Georgia for more than 11 years. His law practice focused on representing clients in matters related to local government law, education law, and real estate. He served as the Candler County attorney for 11 years beginning in 1999 and as an attorney for the Candler County Board of Education from 2001-2004. 

After serving as the Chief Magistrate Court Judge of Candler County from 2000-2004, Drake was elected State Court Judge of Candler County and served until he began his work in Macon. He obtained an undergraduate degree in business from The University of Georgia in 1993 and a law degree from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University in 1996.

While serving as pastor of the Irwinton-Toomsboro-Salem Charge of the United Methodist Church in Wilkinson County, he pursued his Master of Divinity degree from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. He has continued to serve as a bi-vocational pastor for the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Drake is married to the former Lee Abernathy of Cartersville, Georgia. They have three children: Abby, age 21; Austin, age 18; and Maddox, age 14.