By Joel Hall
Due to the untimely exit of the organization's president, Clayton County Solicitor General Tasha Mosley has been tapped to lead the Georgia Association of Solicitors-General.
From now until July of next year, Mosley will champion the legislative goals of solicitors from around the state, and also help facilitate their training.
Mosley, who has served as president-elect of the organization since July, was officially appointed as president on Sept. 7. She said her presidency was bumped up due to the recent resignation of former DeKalb County Solicitor-General Robert James.
"Robert James resigned [from the office of Solicitor General] to run for District Attorney of DeKalb County," Mosley said. "I was to take over in July 2011, but effective with his resignation, I became president. It's a great challenge ... I look forward to doing it."
According to Mosley, the Georgia Association of Solicitors-General is a collection of solicitors, and their assistants, from all over the state, who serve as the voice of solicitors at the State Capitol. She said the group lobbies at the General Assembly to close legal loopholes, and also provides training opportunities for less-experienced solicitors.
"What we do is make sure that laws are passed that are beneficial to the state of Georgia ... making sure that legislation doesn't hurt us or the victims that we are trying to protect," Mosley said. "As elected officials, we can get together and talk about particular issues that come up in our jurisdictions.
"It's a great mentoring organization for new solicitor generals," she said. "We take care of each other. The district attorneys have an association, and so do we."
Mosley said that most of her work as president of the organization will be done during the next legislative session of the General Assembly. During that time, she will spend one or two days at the Capitol per week, she said.
One of the association's goals over the next year, according to Mosleym, will include adding more teeth to the state's dangerous animal laws.
"It doesn't have any bite to it," Mosley said. "We want to avoid having people be maimed, before we can find that an animal is vicious."
In addition, the association will address the state's spousal privilege statute, according to Mosley. She said Georgia is one of the few states left that does not allow the courts to compel the victims of domestic abuse to testify against their spouses.
"It [the spousal privilege statute] allows the abuser more control, and it keeps us from being able to help the victim," she explained. "The abuser will say that 'I promise not to hit you again,' and usually, the victim will believe them. Most of the time, a few months later, we see them back.
"It doesn't benefit society to have a primary aggressor beating the victim over and over again, without being able to be punished," she said.
Mosley said the association will also seek additional state funding for the training of younger solicitors.
Chuck Spahos, Henry County Solicitor General and past president of the Georgia Association of Solicitors-General, said Mosley worked as a prosecutor under him for two years, prior to being elected in Clayton County. He said the association president is an "important role," for which he feels Mosley is ready.
"We have a significant role at the Capitol, and the state does rely on our input when it comes to criminal matters," Spahos said. "I think her leadership skills will be a valuable asset to the organization.
"Tasha has a candid personality," Spahos continued. "Whatever she sets out to accomplish, she is going to accomplish, so I have no doubt that she will carry that into the president's office."
Mosley said, following her recent appointment, the association will choose a president-elect next month, who will take over when her term as president ends in July of next year.