Incoming Gwinnett judge will take bonus previous judge declined - CBS46 News

Incoming Gwinnett judge will take bonus previous judge declined

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LAWRENCEVILLE, GA (CBS46) -

New Gwinnett County Probate Judge Chris Baller said he plans on accepting a $7,500 annual bump in pay for being the custodian of birth and death certificates. His predecessor, Jim Clarke, deferred that money back to the county's general fund for most of his 20 years in office.

Baller says he has no problem taking the bonus, even though Clarke did not, because the extra work warrants extra compensation.

"If we didn't do vital records, I would not take the fee, but the fact is in Gwinnett County probate court, we do this," said Baller. "I'm just taking the compensation that is offered by taking this position."

Clarke could not be reached for comment, to say why he declined the annual bonus throughout most of his tenure.

Baller points out that even with the bump in salary, he will still make roughly $5,000 less per year than Clarke makes now, with six weeks to go before he leaves office. Baller said his office and staff will also operate at a lower overall cost.

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