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New judge to be sworn in Friday

JONESBORO — Clayton County’s new chief magistrate judge will be sworn in to office Friday morning.

Wanda Dallas of Riverdale will take the oath of office administered by Probate Court Judge Pam Ferguson. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. in courtroom 401 at the Clayton County Courthouse.

Dallas will serve the unexpired term of Daphne Walker, who was elected the county’s first back chief magistrate judge in 2004. Walker returned to office twice without opposition but left in September.

The term ends Dec. 31, 2016.

Clayton County Solicitor General Tasha Mosley knows Dallas and said she looks forward to working with her.

“She is a great woman,” Mosley said. “Wanda is well-respected in the legal community.”

Dallas got her undergraduate degree in communications and journalism from Georgia State University and her law degree from University of Tulsa Law School. She was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1994.

Her background includes senior assistant district attorney in Fulton County, chief judge in Riverdale Municipal Court, adjunct professor, associate Fulton County Juvenile Court judge and staff attorney in Fulton County. She was labor relations manager in the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office at the time of her appointment.

Dallas is also a volunteer in her community and church. Her interests include Rotary Club, Boys and Girls Club, Destiny Family Services and Children’s Ministry leader at Word of Faith Family Worship Center.

It was Walker’s interest in community service that lured her away from the position she’s held since Jan. 1, 2005. Walker was elected the county’s first black female chief magistrate and was re-elected twice without opposition, most recently last year. Prior to that, she was the first black assistant district attorney in the Houston Judicial Circuit.

Walker just began her third term in Clayton County when she was offered a position of president and CEO of the largest nonprofit domestic violence organization in Georgia. Walker is known in metro Atlanta for championing the rights of women and children.

Walker took the position as leader of Partnership Against Domestic Violence Sept. 9.