Candidate Spotlight: Judge Steve Yekel – Effingham County State Court

Join us as we chat with Judge Steve Yekel, who is running for re-election in Effingham County as State Court Judge.

Hear about his tenure since 2022 as well as his policies in the courtroom, his approach to domestic violence issues, speeding cases, and DUIs – among other things.

Also discussed: working with the state court solicitor, creating a court that ‘everyone can be proud of,’ and why he would like another term in office..

The race is nonpartisan and will appear on all ballots.

Election Day is May 21st. Early voting is ongoing through May 17th. Find information about your voting location and sample ballots by visiting My Voter Page.

Full transcript below.

Candidate Spotlight: Steve Yekel – Effingham County State Court Judge

Join us as we chat with Judge Steve Yekel, who is running for re-election in Effingham County as State Court Judge. Hear about his tenure since 2022 as well as his policies in the courtroom, his approach to domestic violence issues, speeding cases, and DUIs – among other things.

Jessica Szilagyi (00:21.996)
Today we are interviewing Judge Steve Yekel, who is the state court judge in Effingham County. His race is nonpartisan, so he will appear on your ballot, regardless of which one you choose. Thank you so much for interviewing with us today, Judge Yekel.

Stephen R Yekel (00:36.717)
Thank you for having me. I appreciate it very much.

Jessica Szilagyi (00:39.564)
Before we dive into the issues, why don’t you just start off a little bit by telling us about your background and then what the state court judge does.

Stephen R Yekel (00:48.109)

Well, I was previously in private practice and the chief conflict defender for the Southeast region for 16 years prior to running for judgeship. I’ve tried over 500 cases, civil and criminal, 50 murder cases and two death penalty cases. I ran in 2022 and in fact was elected May 24th, 2022 by over 1400 votes. But what happened was, is the previous judge, who was the state court judge, resigned to become a superior court judge. When he did, the office became vacant. And there was a previous appellate court decision by the Supreme Court of Georgia that ruled that when a judicial office is vacant, in other words, the judge does not his term of office, then the governor is the only one that’s allowed to fulfill a judicial vacancy. So even if it voids an election, which is exactly what it did. So the election was voided. The governor appointed me as state court judge on June 22nd, 2022, and I’ve been serving ever since.

Jessica Szilagyi (02:08.492)

Great, so that’s about two years, just about. Give or take a little bit of time and you really hit the ground running and had a lot of work to do. So do you wanna talk a little bit about what you have done so far as it pertains to your office and the way that you’re operating the courts?

Stephen R Yekel (02:26.347)

Yes ma ‘am. One of the first things I did was directly related to the investigation that you did previously about the issue we were having with DUI cases. And because your research indicated that 47 % of all DUI in Effingham County were dismissed or reduced for no stated reason.

And what I immediately did and went to taking office is I required the Solicitor General to state in open court the reason if a DUI cannot be prosecuted as originally charged by the officer, then they have to state a reason in open court that’s a valid, justifiable reason. They also will fill out a form that I created, which will be filed in the record.

So if anyone questions as to what the disposition of the case was, if it was reduced or modified and why, it will be there for them to see. As well as the officer is required to be consulted or advised of the disposition of the case. And the main reason I did that is if an officer is making a mistake, then I want that officer to know what the mistake was so that we don’t continue to make the same mistake.

The other things that I did almost immediately was I realized that my first session in court at an arraignment session was that the Solicitor General was failing to provide a copy of the accusation and a list of witnesses that were required by statute.

And so I immediately had them stop court. They went in and made copies. So everybody who was arraigned would receive a copy of the accusation list to witnesses, which is required by statute. And I was really surprised that it wasn’t being done. My experience has pretty much been in Superior Court mostly. I didn’t handle misdemeanor cases when I was in private practice and with the state. So I was kind of taken back that this was what took place.

Stephen R Yekel (04:42.856)

In fact, I had on that one particular court session, I had four different instances where somebody had been to court 15 times on an arraignment docket, had never been arraigned and nothing had ever happened, which I immediately put a stop to that. We arraigned every individual. I have one 15, one 12, one 10 and one eight. All represented by the same attorney and all had never been actually proceeding to court. It was just continued after continuance after continuance. So I put a stop to that immediately. 

I also inherited 682 bench warrants stemming from 2002 till 2022. Myself and the Solicitor General at that time, we went through all the bench warrants and if the state could not prosecute the case, then those bids for it were withdrawn and the cases were dismissed. I felt like there was no reason to have a bench warrant on someone if we knew we couldn’t prosecute the case. The other thing that I was kind of concerned about is during my first couple of sessions in court is I found out that the solicitor was bringing recommendations on domestic violence cases and they’d never talked to the victim. 

I immediately, um, required that all victims were notified of all court appearances. They were also advised, obviously, to be present before any disposition was made in a case. In fact, I will not even consider a disposition unless a solicitor can state to me that they have either contacted the victim, the victim is present, or they cannot locate the victim. And that’s all pursuant to Marcy’s law, which is a required mandate, even though it’s not funded.

But it is required. And as a result of that, we created a domestic violence docket for that purpose. So they would be assigned to a particular docket when they would come in and that we could handle it a little bit more efficiently. And so these individuals would be entitled to know that it was not going to be swept under the rug as previously had been done, that their case was going to be heard and they had a right to be heard. And the court was obviously going to hear from them before I made any disposition on a case.

I guess the other thing I guess that I kind of instituted is that as far as my court or state court of Effingham County is I don’t believe it’s a revenue producing court like municipalities. So if you come in with a non -traffic violation, what the court’s policy is, for example, you fail to renew your tag on time. then change the driver’s license when you should have after you changed addresses. And you can come in the court and prove that you’ve completed those areas. And I’m going to make it a warning. You’re not going to receive an $186 ticket. You’ve taken care of the matter, and that’s what I want to see that’s been accomplished. 

As far as speeding citations, anything that’s 30 miles and below, what I look at is if you don’t have any significant traffic history and this is like your first time event or you have nothing in any considerable length of time, then the court’s going to reduce your speed to where it’s not reportable to the Department of Driver Services, which means you won’t receive any points on your license, as well as you won’t have an increase in your insurance rates.

Also, I’m going to adjust the fine when you come to court to somewhere between three quarters to half possibly. 

Now, if you are exceeding the speed limit by over 30 miles an hour, that’s something the court takes a little more seriously, obviously. Those individuals are going to be required at a minimum to complete 40 hours of community service. They’re going to…have to complete a traffic violators impact program as well as the defensive driving program. When they submit that to the court, then the court will consider based on looking at the traffic history to see if there’s any significant traffic history. Then the court will adjust the speed once again so it’s not reportable so they won’t have any rise in their insurance rates as well as they won’t receive any points on their license. And in most cases you also be eligible for a super speeder which is an additional $200. 

Now, fine may run anywhere probably about $1,398, for example. Court looks to probably reducing that to $500 to $750. That’s if you’ve completed all other requirements. You don’t have any history. I mean, everybody speeds at a time. There may be something you’re trying to pass a car. The car may do something to prevent you from passing, regardless, to say you’re going to maybe go over the speed limit. That’s what kind of the court looks to. And that’s, like I said, that 1386 fine I’m going to consider reducing. But that’s also going to be definitely the caveat is there is to make sure that you’re entitled to it, that you don’t have a continuing history. 

We have a serious problem right now is between 17 to 25 year olds on my last docket and I’ve made them criminal cases now and not traffic because of the disproportionate way that they were being disposed of, is now is when they come into court and they go through the arraignment. But as I said, I had 20 cases and they were mostly 17 to 25 year olds. And my lowest speed was 31 miles over the postage speed limit. My highest was 96 or 51 miles over the posted speed limit. They were running 96 miles an hour in a 35 mile an hour zone. I have also required some people to serve weekends in jail depending on their history. More than likely the court’s going to possibly give a jail sentence and suspend it if that is warranted. But everything, as I said, is going to be based on review of the traffic history and see what it shows that you’ve conducted yourself previously.

Jessica Szilagyi (11:23.468)

How do you think that all of these changes or at least policies that you’ve implemented have streamlined things within the court or made it more efficient or improved the experience, like for lack of a better word, of people who appear in your court?

Stephen R Yekel (11:39.489)

Well, I tell people, and I know nobody wants to come to court, but I try to make it as pleasurable as possible. I’m going to treat you with dignity and respect. I’m going to treat you equally the same, whether you’re represented by counsel or not. And I think everybody is entitled to that first time that if they made a mistake,

I’m not trying to punish them as much as I’m trying to get everybody’s attention and really hold them accountable. Our county has grown so much that we have more people on the road. We have more citations. When I started, for example, previously, there were two to three days of court a month. I averaged 12 to 15 days of court.

And that’s even after, and I have 178 cases on my traffic docket the other day. I’ll have a, a, also a plea calendar that consists of eight pages, a arraignment calendar about that link. Unfortunately, we’re growing so much that we’re going to have to increase more court days, but I think we’re trying to be as efficient as possible for everyone to be heard. We’ve had a couple of sessions that went on to six o ‘clock, seven o ‘clock one time, but that was also when they loaded me up with like 30 something probation revocations, as well as 40 something arraignments. And, you know, we started at nine and we took a small lunch break and then we continued on. We try to avoid that and we try to dispose of the cases efficiently as possible with the number of court days that were allotted.

I don’t have a civil backlog because I immediately, one of the other things is I had status conferences on all civil cases. And then I could determine which cases were ready for trial, which ones needed to go into mediation, which ones had additional discovery. You’re required to complete discovery within 180 days after a suit is filed and the answer is filed rather. And unless if they can’t do it within that time, they can make a request to the court extend the discovery, which the court will do, because sometimes it’s required. It depends on how complicated the case is. It depends on what medical providers there may be that they’re trying to depose, that type of thing. But there’s nothing that shouldn’t really take it too far along. The idea is that everything gets prosecuted or handled within a year’s time as possible.

So I think we’re trying to do the best we can. As I’ve indicated, I think we’ll probably have to increase as far as the additional days of court. I tried more cases in one week that were tried in five years previously. So we’re doing what we can to make it as efficiently as possible. We’re doing what we can to make everybody’s experience as pleasurable as possible, whether it be an individual who comes before me on a criminal case, a traffic docket or whether it’s serving as a juror. 

We obviously try to also take everybody’s time under consideration. So when I have a contested case on a criminal, for example, jail cases, the officers and attorneys are going to be the priority. So we can move those cases out as soon as possible that I have a large number of people who need to be heard from by the court before the case can be reached a disposition and before I can do things such as an arraignment or go into plea hearings that those individuals who are pro -save, for example, had been advised to talk to the solicitor’s office after they were arraigned. So they were given 30 days and unfortunately most of them just don’t take that opportunity. So we’ll end up having to take a delay possibly to allow them to go back and talk with the solicitor and see if they can resolve their case. And If they can’t, then I will schedule them for a bench trial or a jury trial.

Jessica Szilagyi (15:57.388)

So kind of piggybacking off that, to what do you credit the increased injury trials? Is it a lack of being able to come to a consensus or a rejection of a possible plea or just the sheer numbers?

Stephen R Yekel (16:10.234)

I think the sheer numbers and I think also, for example, I think with the DUI, the cases are not being dismissed unless you can show a valid reason. And I think that’s a large part of it. You can look at my docket. For example, tomorrow, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I think you’ll see the number of DUIs that we have that are pending. And that’s because they were not just dismissed.or reduced, you’re not going to get a too fast for condition or reckless driving or, or any type, unless and only if the solicitor stands up in open court and tells me, judge, I can’t prosecute this case because of this reason. The officer failed to do this. If it’s a valid reason, then it’s something the court will accept. 

To give you the best example, which is a very small example, is that the implied consent after the officer’s determined that he’s going to arrest somebody and he’s advised them of the implied consent on the test that he’s going to require. And the previous used to say that you were required to take this test. The legislature changed it and now it is you’re requested. And a lot of officers, unfortunately, will not read the card as they’re provided and will try to do it from memory. And a lot of older officers will always say that you are required to, and that’s incorrect. And the courts have held that you are improperly advising someone of their rights under the implied consent. And therefore, if you do it incorrectly, then it’s going to void that advisement. And you’re not going to be able to use that test in the evidence.

And that’s some reason as to why these cases may proceed on a reckless driving, for example. Now, if they do, they’re still going to have everything is going to be the same requirement as a DUI, except for the actual conviction of DUI. Every DUI, every reckless driving is going to have 12 months probation at a minimum. It’s going to have a $600 base fine. It’s going to require traffic violators impact program, defensive driving, 40 hours of community service, a victim impact panel. They’re going to have a drug and alcohol evaluation and they’re going to comply with whatever those recommendations are. And they’re going to have 40 hours of community service. And I think that’s the reason is that, and I won’t tell you anybody in particular, but I had one attorney approach me and said, well, You know, where I come from, every person who gets a DUI their first time, they get reduced to reckless driving. And I said, well, that’s not here. 

So we’re going to adhere to the statute. And if the solicitor comes up and tells me they can’t prosecute your case and they can state a valid reason at open court, they can submit the form to the court to review and accept and file it for record. And the officer has been consulted, then the court will consider the reduction. Without that, it’s it does not happen. 

That’s similar to what I also do is I found out that when you do a nolle process of a case, previously they were letting us solicitor nolle process cases or dead docket cases. Statute’s clear on the point that the judge is the only one that can nolle process or dismiss a case or dead docket a case. And it’s not valid without. And the statute also clearly states that a nolle process, which is what I do, has to be done in open court. So when I’m in court, I will read out a null process, state the case name, the style of the case, and the reason for the action that we’re taking. Because that’s exactly what the statute requires. In fact, the statute says it has to be done. It cannot be done in chambers because they want the public to be aware of what is being done. And there’s no backyard or back deal, door deal. So the code is very specific and that was not being done previously. So I tried to make sure that this court is one that runs efficiently, it runs properly, it’s valid and legal and some a court that I think everyone can be proud of. Everybody can come into court and see how the court is administered and understand everybody’s going to be treated fairly and equally.

You know, I mean, you can’t make everybody happy, but there are going to be heard. They have a right to be heard. Every rights that you have, if you were charged with murder or facing the death penalty, you’re afforded the same rights in state court and your violation may be, for example, the least could be, would be a seatbelt violation, which the statute requires the maximum is a $15 fine. But if you want a jury trial, you’re entitled to it.

You’re entitled to that accusation. You’re entitled to that list of witnesses. And that’s what I want to make sure that we do. And I think we’ve done that. I’m proud of that. I think that maybe we’ll have a new Solicitor General that will be coming on board. The governor is appointed. I’ve been to three of them I think you know of so far. And Spencer Tyson will be sworn in sometime in May. And we’re looking at possibly doing a family violence court and possibly and or a DUI court. We have needs for both because unfortunately we have a lot of DUIs, a lot of family violence situations. And I think we’ve been told that we can expect 12 to 15 ,000 increase in population in Effingham County due to the Hyundai plant. And that’s going to also increase our numbers with everything that we’re talking about. 

We’re going to have more traffic citations, which we’ve seen already now. We’re going to have more DUIs, which see a little bit of increase right now. I can directly see where they’re coming from, from the plant, where they work, et cetera. And I think that’s just something the court’s trying to grow with and be prepared for. So we try to make sure that we’re doing everything possible. As I said, to make everything as efficient and pleasurable as possible. If you come to court, you’re going to be heard. And I want you to at least know that you had an opportunity to be heard. That’s the main thing. When I was a trial attorney, the judge wouldn’t always rule in my favor, but any judge that would allow me to present my case, argue my motion, regardless of whether he ruled in my favor, at least I felt like I had the opportunity to represent my client, which is the only thing any attorney or individual would want is to be heard.

Jessica Szilagyi (23:09.004)

So you kind of touched on it when you said that there’s been three different solicitors and with that obviously comes different personalities and different personalities or policies from their own office because they’re elected as well. So how do you view the role or the relationship between the state court judge and the solicitor? Because they obviously work together but kind of run parallel as well.

Stephen R Yekel (23:31.514)

Well, we work together and we try to work efficiently as possible, but obviously they have a job to do. They have to present the case and then as you said, I had one elected Solicitor General and he resigned and he resigned on December 31st with his resignation Effective Day of 2023. He appointed someone on Saturday at two o ‘clock and nobody knew about it. And then that person came in and served for about 60 days.

And that individual, and I’ll let you name it if you wish, I’m not, I’m just stating a fact. And a resignation was sent on February 27th at two o ‘clock and it was effective February 29th at two o ‘clock. And the problem was, is I had 15 days of court scheduled in March and I had no one to cover. In fact, one solicitor and I had to beg, borrow, and maybe steal a Solicitor General from another jurisdiction who could serve. 

One Solicitor General was going to charge me $2,000 a day. The other one was going to charge me $1,000 a day. I went to the County Commission and to the Finance Department and finally it was decided that what we would do is as when there were pro tems that handled the court when the previous state court judge resigned and there’s some question about the validity of those. 

But anyway, what we did is we took these solicitors’ salary and we divided it, I think it’s 235 working days, I believe is what they calculated at. We took a per diem rate and I contacted the district attorney, Mrs. Totten, and I have, under the statute, the DA has to furnish someone to act as a solicitor general. And I required that through a direct request, but I also had the county agree to pay this per diem rate. And as a result, I have two right now, part -time, I guess you would say, one who is running for DA in Chatham County. So he has some time, has ample experience, and the other is Mr. Tyson himself. So both of them became assistant DAs with the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit, and then they were assigned to this court.

And then they serve as my solicitors. Either I may have both at one time or I may have one. It just depends. I never know. But at least I have coverage, which is the main thing, because we could not go into a standstill where I had 15 days of court and couldn’t do anything. So it put me in a really bad situation. And I’m glad we were able to come out of it. 

The main thing I think the Solicitor General, the idea is that we’re just trying to coordinate that they can present the cases. They’re ready for trial if we have jury selection. Unfortunately, the one thing I’m realizing is, and I guess I’m going to have to increase my numbers, is that every time I schedule five to 10 cases, for example, for a jury selection, and everybody wants a trial, and then they plead, the same in the civil situation.

When I have somebody that wants three days of trial and I schedule it and then all of a sudden, you know, the day before they negotiate a settlement and then I’m stuck with no one to cover and I have wasted jury days. And that’s something that I’m trying to make sure we’re more efficient because I hate to bring jurors in and not be able to use them. A lot of times we’ve been able to cut them off. A lot of times officers have not shown up. A couple of times the victims were never contacted ahead of time. And they were out of town and a couple of officers were on assignment in different jurisdictions and nobody bothered to check with them before we actually selected the jury. 

The other day I had a pro se defendant who sat through, we went through jury selection, it’s a little tedious with a pro se individual. I had to go into a Ferretta waiver, which is like 44 questions to make sure he understood what he was doing, that he was capable, he was competent. And then he didn’t show up for trial when the jury came back on Monday. So then that jury had to be dismissed. 

So I think with everybody working together, I think it’s working smoothly. As I said, once I have somebody in place, the previous, the elected solicitor, wasn’t really in favor of doing a domestic violence court. The one thing about that, and I think there may be a need, although it’s not recognized as an accountability court, so there’s no state funding involved. DUI, there is. And we’ve talked about it, Mr. Tyson and I have talked about it, and we’re going to kind of sit down and think, what’s the best way that we can serve Effingham County? Do we need a DUI court, or do we need a domestic violence court?

probably can’t do both at the same time, but start up. And right now we’re looking at one of them. We just don’t know which one. And I’ve got to get through, you know, the election. Hopefully I’m reelected. You know, I feel like that I’m deserved to be returned. I’ve done everything I said I would do and I’m proud of my record and I stand on it. But obviously, you know, you can’t put the cart before the horse. So we have to get through this. So, you know, after May 21st is over with, hopefully everything’s done.

Then we’ll move on to trying to see what we can establish that will actually be in effect starting in January 2025. Startup date is, there’s a about, I think I have to do something by June or July as far as the DUI court to get funding and to get it started. At least the process, that’s what we’re looking towards anyway.

Jessica Szilagyi (29:57.836)

Well, kind of pivoting back to the campaign trail, you have two opponents this election cycle. But why do you feel like you’re the best candidate, the most qualified candidate to keep state court moving the way it is?

Stephen R Yekel (30:12.164)

Well, I have the most experience of anyone. Actually, I’m doing the job. I’ve done the job. As I said, my trial experience, I served as a protean judge in Chatham County and Recorders Court for some 14 years. I served as a protean juvenile court judge. I’ve been in office running my first, like I said, I was sworn in by the governor June 22nd, 2022.

And probably my first court date was sometime in July if I’m not mistaken and probably after the fourth. I think it’s the first time we had the first court session that was actually scheduled. And I’ve made the progress that I think we need to, to move this court. As I’ve said, I’ve established what the role should be. I have shown that we can be efficient. I think I’ve also demonstrated that how we are handling cases, as I said, and a lot of it has to do to really realizing the problem we had with DUIs when you brought your articles forth, because it’s something I wasn’t aware of, because I said I mainly prosecuted felony cases. So that was not something that ever came about. I didn’t prosecute in state court, or I didn’t defend cases in state court.

But once we realized there was a problem, I think we dealt with it efficiently. And I think that’s, that’s a strong part of this is that I think now we are doing everything that I said I would do when I ran. I was elected by over 1400 votes. So I was proud of that showing. 

I think that as far as I think, You know, I appreciate everybody as far as voting for me and I ask them for their continued support. I think I am the best viable candidate. I’m doing the job. So, you know, if it’s not broke, you know, why fix it? We’re doing everything that I said I would do on the campaign trail. Everything that the voters sent me here previously for, I’ve done. I’ve gotten the court to be a respectable court.

There was a time when law enforcement officers were told not to come to this court. That’s not the situation now. Everyone is invited in this court, whether you be a law enforcement officer or any individual. This is, it’s the people’s court. This is the state court of Effingham County. I am the judge, but this is just what it says. It is for the people to come in and to be heard. And sometimes this may be their first experience that they’re going to have with a judge and I think I’ve treated everybody with dignity and respect at the quorum. 

I stand on my record. I think everything that I have put into place has been there for a reason. We have corrected issues that needed to be corrected. And I think that warrants being returned for a four -year term, another four -year term. I won a four -year term before, but you know as I’ve explained, because of the previous state court judge being resigning and actually being appointed to the spirit court, that cut my four years short. So I have to go out and run again under the same policies. I now have a record. I’m very proud of the record. I’m very proud of the accomplishment we have. I’m very proud of our domestic violence.

I’m very proud of the way we’re dealing with things. And I think right now we’ve got a good prosecution team that I think will make sure the cases are brought properly, make sure that the officers are subpoenaed, that they’re ready to go, that we’re not sitting here continuing cases because nobody’s bothered to verify if the officer’s available. Nobody’s bothered to verify, you know, as to do we have the evidence here? Do we have the evidence? people subpoenaed. I now have confidence in Mr. Tyson and Mr. Pretoris, who’s the other gentleman who’s assisting the court right now, that we’re getting that done. I don’t have a situation as much where I have to take, you know, leave the bench for an hour or so because nobody’s bothered to do what they’re required to do. And now I’ve got to go back and let them sit there and review the cases and try to work out a plea or schedule a jury trial or a bench trial.

And I want to ensure everybody that you’ve got that right. You don’t have to take any negotiated plea. If you feel like you weren’t responsible for that crime or you didn’t do what was alleged, then you have that absolute right to go to trial. And it would be heard by the court where I’ll listen to the facts. And if I find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, then the court will sentence you. Or if it’s a jury trial, the jury will make a determination if you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

And then the court will be the one to send it to your account.

Jessica Szilagyi (35:28.14)
And where can people learn more about you ahead of election day?

Stephen R Yekel (35:32.732)

Well, you can go to Steve Yechel for State Court for the website. You can attend any event. Most of the events have been over with now. I think there’s going to be a couple that are still going to be brass. There’s one in Guyton at the Brass Rail, I believe, put on by Effingham. I forgot what the name of the sponsor was and there’s also one on the 14th I think it is at over on Old Augusta at the I know it’s 14th but I’m not sure exactly what I think it’s Effingham is by Nikki Lee whatever that agency is we spoke previously at the Maratha Baptist Church they had one also at Riley’s I couldn’t go to that one because it conflicted with the National Day of Prayer and that was more important to attend. 

You can primarily come to court. You can see everything in action. As I’ve said, I’ll be in court. I have court Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We have big sessions. In fact, I think I have court every week, every day this week, except for Friday coming up. And I think the following week, I’m not sitting here looking at my calendar, but I believe that’s correct.

Jessica Szilagyi (37:03.948)
Well, great. Well, thank you so much for chatting with us and good luck on the rest of the campaign trail.

Stephen R Yekel (37:09.083)
Thank you very much. I appreciate it, Jessica.

Jessica Szilagyi

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of TGV News. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement and corrections. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia.

Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and co-creator of of the Peabody Award-nominated podcast 'Prison Town.'

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