Tarver officially takes on U.S. attorney post

Friday, Dec. 18, 2009 4:35 PM
Last updated 4:37 PM
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A standing-room-only crowd watched this afternoon as Ed Tarver was sworn in as the first black U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

Mr. Tarver fought back tears as he talked about leaving his law firm – Hull, Towill, Norman, Barrett & Salley, where he’s spent the last 17 years.

“They have been more than my law partners, they are my family and have helped us a great deal,” said Mr. Tarver to a crowd filled with state and local political leaders at the historic federal courthouse downtown.

With space for only 170 people in the federal courtroom, hundreds more stood outside in the hallway and inside a downstairs courtroom to watch the investiture program on TV screens.

In his remarks, retired Georgia Court of Appeals Judge John H. Ruffin Jr., himself the first African-American Superior Court Judge for the Augusta Judicial Circuit, said Mr. Tarver’s long career and character made him perfect for the position. He urged Mr. Tarver be sure his cause was always “just,” his “pursuits honorable” and his “motives pure.”

“You must have a clear perception of the advantage of justice but you must have an even clearer perception of the disadvantage of vengeance,” Judge Ruffin said.

Before reading the oath, U.S. District Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. reminded the audience how powerful a U.S. Attorney can be, and the great responsibility that is inherent in the job.

“The U.S. Attorney can break a man either by convicting him or by ruining him financially,” he said. “So those who serve in that capacity must and always should be principled individuals.”

In his statements, James L. Kendrick said Mr. Tarver’s appointment by President Barack Obama to the position, along with his long career, are something to treasure.

“Ed Tarver, you have earned the right to feel proud, honored, blessed and maybe a little loved,” Mr. Kendrick said.

Mr. Tarver replaces Edmund A. Booth Jr., who retired from the position. He will oversee a district covering 43 counties that stretches from Thurmond Lake to the Florida border. The Senate confirmed him Nov. 5 and he was officially sworn in a small ceremony in Savannah last month.

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RIPAmerica 12/18/09 - 05:58 pm
Congratulations Mr. Tarver. I

Congratulations Mr. Tarver. I am absolutely certain you will do Augusta and GA very proud in your new mission.

justus4 12/18/09 - 09:21 pm
How many African-Americans

How many African-Americans were in attendance and what effect will this development have on a corrupted leagl system? Judge Ruffin nailed it with his comments and will prove to be have given the most accurate advise. The other guy was basicly warning Tarver not to get any ideas because he could "ruin" some lives with his newfound authority. Ha! Lets see who is correct because the history is clear about certain criminals who walk free based on U know what. In some circles, this appointment is not a positive development for U know who, so judgement is reserved to evaluate his actions.

BuckeyeInGA 12/18/09 - 11:26 pm
Does Tarver move to Atlanta

Does Tarver move to Atlanta now?

Rozzie2003 12/19/09 - 12:15 am
Please note that Judge Ruffin

Please note that Judge Ruffin is misquoted. He stated that "you must have an even clearer perception of the disadvantages of injustice." Please correct.

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