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Feb. 24 – Lawyer and former Alderman Tom Bordeaux announces run for Judgeship of Chatham County Probate Court

Category: Local Govts & Politics

By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal

February 24, 2016 - Former Savannah City Councilman Tom Bordeaux announced today that he will run for judge of the Chatham County Probate Court in the election to be held in May.


Bordeaux, who has practiced law locally since 1979,  served 16 years in the Georgia House of Representatives where he chaired the  House judiciary committee before electing to step down and then ran for Alderman-at-Large, Post 2, serving for the past four years on the Savannah City Council.

Regarding his time on the Council, Bordeaus terms himself “an outspoken critic of Council inefficiency and divisiveness,” in making his announcement today. 

And adds that he “broke with the status quo on Council, insisting that the pay level for entry-level police officers be increased immediately in order to replenish the depleted force.  Within weeks, after months of study, the salary was raised.”

As Alderman, Bordeaux joined with District Attorney Meg Heap and Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department Chief Jack Lumpkin in their outspoken criticism of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles’ practice of releasing convicted violent offenders significantly before they served their full sentences, and proposed that state legislation be adopted to require the Board to give advance notification to prosecutors and victims of an inmate’s parole.  That legislation was introduced in the current state legislative session, and recently a non-statutory compromise was announced which purports to assure such advance notice, he states.

“Last year when I decided not to run again for Council, I had not planned to offer for this judgeship.  But when I learned that Judge Lewis (the current Probate Court judge) is retiring, I knew this was where I could best serve,” Bordeaux said.

“My years in the courthouse as a practicing attorney and my time in the statehouse and at City Hall have all taught me the skills that a judge needs.  A judge doesn’t just need to know and understand the law – he or she needs to know and understand the problems that people face every day.  In probate court, people are facing some of the most profound moments of their lives.  A good judge can make those times much easier,” Bordeaux said.  “I hope to have an opportunity to do just that.”

He is a life-long Savannah resident, and graduated from Savannah High School before receiving his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia. 

The Savannah Bar Association recognized Bordeaux with the “Robbie E. Robinson Award” for his public service. 

He previously served on the boards of the Rape Crisis Center and of the Savannah Economic Opportunity Authority for Savannah-Chatham County Area, Inc. (EOA).

Bordeaux, 62, is married to the Rev. Nelle Bordeaux, an associate minister at Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church.  They have two children, a daughter who attends Savannah Arts Academy, and a son who attends Jenkins High School.

The judgeship election will be held May 24.  It is a nonpartisan position.  The current Probate Court Judge, Harris Lewis, is not seeking re-election.

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    • Guest - Genie Brazzeal

      Thank you, Mr. Bordeaux! Bring some honesty to this court. No more winking like I experienced.

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