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Henry's Spahos to serve on state-wide commission

By Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henryherald.com

Gov. Sonny Perdue has tapped Henry County Solicitor Charles "Chuck" Spahos to serve on an executive commission. Perdue's office announced Friday that Spahos was among those chosen to serve a two-year term on the State Commission on Family Violence.

The commission will meet quarterly, said Spahos.

Spahos, 40, has been Henry's solicitor general for more than eight years. He learned of the official appointment on Friday, but said he was contacted earlier with a request to serve.

"I had been asked if I would consider an appointment, a little over a month ago," he said.

His responsibilities on the commission will be widespread, he added.

"It's a 37-member commission that was originally designed in the 1990s to address the state-wide epidemic of domestic violence," said Spahos. "I think the mission has somewhat changed over the years, as we become somewhat more aggressive in our approach to domestic violence throughout the state."

He said in the early 1990s, he was a Henry County police officer, so he remembers the county's approach to family violence. "It is a good bit different now," he said. "We don't let victims necessarily dictate how we proceed, we have better-trained law enforcement officers, [and] we have specialized prosecution for those cases. It's come a long way.

"Part of the role the commission is going to have in the next year is, like everything else they're doing on the state-wide level, evaluating [if] we're getting the best bang for the buck," he continued. "It is a state-funded commission, and there is an overall state budget that is spent on this."

Specifically, Spahos said, the commission will examine if the state can address the issue of family violence more efficiently. He will join others around the state to serve on the council, including: Clayton County Juvenile Court Judge Steven C. Teske; Richmond County State Court Judge John Flythe; Rockdale County Superior Court Judge David B. Irwin; Glynn County Superior Court Judge Stephen D. Kelley; and Kenneth Vance, Jr., executive director of the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.

Spahos is a good choice of candidates to serve on the council, said Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman for the governor's office. "It's important to have members on the Family Violence Commission who are familiar with the law and the criminal justice system, as well as the real-life impact that violence has on a family," said Schrimpf.

"As the solicitor general for Henry County, Mr. Spahos is familiar with all the effects of family violence. He also has an outstanding reputation in Henry County and the legal community, so his voice is certain to be heard on the commission."