published Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Former Murray County magistrate sued

The woman whose complaint led to a judge’s resignation and two officers removed from office has filed a lawsuit against the former judge, the Murray County Magistrate Court and the sheriff’s office.

Angela Garmley and her husband, Joe Garmley, are suing former Chief Magistrate Bryant Cochran for soliciting Angela for sex in his chambers and concocting a scheme to get her arrested, according to their lawsuit. The couple is also suing multiple government agencies and former Sheriff Howard Ensley for their part in the process.

Garmley filed an ethics complaint against Cochran last July, saying he had asked her in his chambers to be his mistress and later sent her a text message to come to his office “wearing a dress and no panties.”

In the lawsuit, Garmley claims Cochran said that his wife “doesn’t take care of [Cochran’s] needs in the bedroom and that [Cochran] would like to have a mistress that he could trust.”

This complaint sparked a state investigation, which led to Cochran’s resignation in August.

The day before Cochran’s resignation, Garmley was pulled over in a traffic stop where police found a metal can containing methamphetamine hidden in the wheel well of her car. She was charged with possession of meth. But the charges were dismissed when the Georgia Bureau of Investigation learned the drugs had been planted.

So far, former Murray County, Ga., sheriff’s Capt. Michael Henderson and former Deputy Josh Greeson, who both played a part in arresting Garmley, have been federally charged for obstruction in a civil rights investigation.

On March 28, Henderson pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Rome, Ga., and Greeson is set for a hearing in May. Both have blamed someone else for the drugs planted.

Meanwhile the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Rome, points to Cochran as the person behind the scheme. Cochran’s attorney Page Pate, has previously denied the allegations.

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