Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kelly Ellerbe on Tuesday recused herself from a legal battle between Gov. Brian Kemp and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over how to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
She was set to hold the first hearing in the matter at 11 a.m., but the proceeding was canceled just hours before its scheduled start. According to an order obtained by AJC.com, Ellerbe voluntarily recused herself from the case without explaining the reasons for her decision. Attached to the order is a series of emails, including one from Deputy Georgia Attorney General Julie Jacobs that asks Ellerbe to recuse herself without saying why.
“After consultation with our client, the State would respectfully request that you recuse yourself from this matter,” Jacobs wrote. “This particular case has drawn significant attention at the state and national level, and therefore, we believe for all parties concerned, that even any potential perception of impropriety could be problematic.”
The case has been reassigned to Fulton Superior Court Judge Shawn Ellen LaGrua.