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Bulloch Local Government

Statesboro to appoint administrative judge for alcohol hearings

The Statesboro City Council will meet Tuesday morning for the first meeting of April and on the very full agenda is the consideration to appoint an administrative judge for alcohol license violation hearings.

The agenda item reads:

Consideration of a Motion to approve Resolution 2017-15: A Resolution to appoint Mr. Tom Peterson as the Administrative Judge to preside over the alcohol license violation hearings.

The decision to appoint a judge for the hearings comes after months of lengthy council meetings plagued with discussion of alleged alcohol violations by city business owners.

In the council packet, parameters were outlined by the attorney in an official letter where Peterson suggests a $850 flat fee per court appearance, every other month for approximately 5 hours per court date. Peterson suggests the last Wednesday of each month, beginning in April.

Any time over the allotted 5 hours, for matters such as drafting orders or providing rulings on appeals, would cost the city $185 per hour.

According to LinkedIn, Peterson graduated from Mercer Law in 2001. He’s been practicing in his own law firm in Vidalia since 2009. His business website indicates Peterson is a criminal defense attorney who also practices federal cases, workers compensation, personal injury, and immigration law. It also lists a handful of notable clients:

  • The Bank of Soperton, Soperton, Georgia
  • City of Lyons, Georgia
  • H.V. & T.G. Thompson Lumber Company, Ailey, Georgia
  • The Millhouse, Brunswick, Georgia
  • Peterson Dermatology, P.C., Vidalia, Georgia
  • Tom Peterson Inc., Realtors, Vidalia, Georgia

Here is the link to his website

The council will have to approve the appointment before any further action.

The following letter from Mr. Tom Peterson was provided:


The complete agenda is below:


Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for

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