Judge Glenda Hatchett emotional about support received after groping incident

Joins Atlanta firm Stewart Miller Simmons

The first African-American Chief Presiding Judge of a state court in Georgia says she's 'overwhelmed' by the community support as she joins a prominent Atlanta law firm.

Judge Glenda Hatchett, who has spent years on the bench in juvenile court, on tv and with her own national firm, is joining Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys.

Judge Glenda Hatchett
Judge Glenda Hatchett (seated) is the newest member of the Stewart Miller Simmons law firm. Photo credit Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys

During Tuesday's news conference Judge Hatchett was asked by Audacy Atlanta's Maria Boynton about the outpouring of support that she has received from the community. Hatchett, acknowledging an alleged incident of a Georgia sheriff's official groping her, said "I really am going to tear up. The love and support that I have gotten from this community, I don't have words to describe it. I am eternally grateful."

Asked if the incident played a role in her joining the firm, Hatchett says 'no'. She did not get into the specifics of the matter saying that because the case "is still in the court system and has not been resolved on the criminal side" she wouldn't say more.

Kris Cooty, Glenda Hatchett
Bleckley County GA Sheriff Kris Cooty is accused of grabbing the breasts of Judge Glenda Hatchett at a metro Atlanta bar in 2022. Photo credit Bleckley County Gov't

Bleckley County Sheriff Kris Cooty is charged with one count of sexual battery in the incident at a Cobb County bar. It apparently happened during the Georgia Sheriff's Association winter meeting at the Waverly Hotel in January 2022.

Following his arrest, Cooty issued a statement in which he said that he was taking the charges "very seriously,” had retained legal counsel, and would comply with all legal obligations placed upon him."

Judge Glenda Hatchett
Judge Glenda Hatchett with one of several screens announcing her joining with Atlanta-based firm Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys Photo credit Maria Boynton/Audacy Atlanta

'Quite impressive' is how one might describe how Hatchett was introduced as the newest member of Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys.

The SMS law firm started hinting of a 'surprise' days ago on social media. They showed only the high-heeled feet of a well-dressed individual in the tease video. At the unveiling Tuesday Judge Hatchett appeared dressed as advertised at the press conference at the SMS offices in Atlanta.

Video screens throughout the office welcomed Hatchett to the team.

The firm is lead by Managing Partner Attorney L. Chris Stewart, and partners Justin Miller, and Madeleine Simmons.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Maria Boynton/Audacy Atlanta