|"Leaders aren't born, they are made. And they are made, just like anything else, through hard work." - Vince Lombardi
The Honorable Bobby Peters passed the state bar exam several months prior to
graduating from law school, which very few lawyers have accomplished. He managed
this while working full time as Director of the Police Academy where he trained
police officers or, as Bobby calls them, our city's "domestic soldiers." After
working all day, he drove to Atlanta to attend night classes in law school and
graduated near the top of his competitive class.
Bobby has over thirty years of experience in law and has incredible depth of
knowledge and expertise in all areas of our criminal justice system. He has
upheld the law as a detective with the
Muscogee County Sheriff's Department,
and taught law as a professor of criminal justice at
Southern Union State College
and as Director of the Regional Police Academy in Macon. He has been in law
practice since he first became member of the
State Bar of Georgia
In addition to his service to enforcing the rule of law, he has a very
distinguished career as an elected official. He was elected to city-wide seat as
a member of the
Columbus City Council
in 1994; after twelve years as a city councilor, he was elected for two consecutive
terms as the Mayor of Columbus as well as Safety Director of the city, which is
the first consolidated government in Georgia. His first term as mayor began in
1994 after he won election in a field of six candidates without a runoff. He won
every minority precinct in the city despite running against two minority candidates. His
extraordinary win with six candidates could be attributed to his open law practice to
all segments of the community; his sincere empathy for people of all walks of life;
and his leadership and community service. He was elected to a second four-year
term as mayor in 1998 without any opposition and became the first mayor in the
history of the Consolidated Government to be elected to two consecutive terms.
Community leaders said Bobby would easily have won a third term as Mayor if the
city charter did not prevent him from running again. During his tenure as mayor,
Columbus experienced tremendous growth without a property tax increase, as well
as the creation of thousands of new jobs, public-private partnerships, and
initiatives based on unifying the city by giving each of its citizens a voice in
government. Under the city charter, the mayor also holds the position of Safety
Director in charge of the police department, the fire department, the emergency
medical system, and the correctional institute.
The Honorable Bobby Peters once again commits himself to the common good by
serving the people of Columbus. He has practiced law in the same historical home
since 1979, where Bobby and then Attorney John Allen—now a Superior Court
Judge himself—began the first bi-racial law firm in the city in the same
historic district across the street from the Government Center. In 2003, Bobby
and Judge John Allen were honored by the city for their personal endeavors on
improving race relations with their tremendous contribution in promoting equality
Bobby was born February 21, 1949 and graduated from
Hardaway High School
in 1967, and then earned an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice, B.S., and
a post-graduate degree in Education, M.A.—both at
Columbus State University.
He graduated with a J.D. from Woodrow Wilson Law School in 1979, while working
full time for the people of Columbus.
While practicing law, he has helped many people who cannot afford an attorney
and has been honored by eighteen different organizations earning the title "The
People's Advocate." He was also chosen as one of only ten elected officials in
the nation and the only one from Georgia to represent the United States of America
in a governmental exchange program with Australia. Bobby was also honored as
the first American citizen to be named "Ambassador of Goodwill" for The Western
Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation,
which was formerly known as the School of the Americas. In 2002, Bobby was personally
presented the "Order of Saint Maurice" by General Paul Eaton, Commander of Fort
Benning, which is regarded as the best Army installation in the world. This is
the highest award given to a civilian by the military. The cooperation and assistance
between Columbus and their neighbor, Fort Benning, was greatly enhanced during the
eight years Mayor Peters was in office and as City Councilor when he led the
effort to build the "Eternal Flame" memorial for veterans who have died protecting
freedom around the world.
Bobby is a member of Calvary Baptist Church and has two daughters, Kelly and
Jennifer. His dad was killed in an automobile accident while he was a freshman
in law school and to this day he takes care of his mom who is legally blind and
Bobby has a special passion for the law and for our public safety employees.
That passion was highlighted when his dear friend and classmate in law school,
police officer Neal Bowers, was shot and killed during an armed robbery, just one
month after Neal and Bobby took the bar exam together. Bobby had the honor of
dedicating the graduation to "Attorney" Neal Bowers. As a former law enforcement
officer, Judge Bobby Peters knows how difficult the job is. He has represented
law enforcement officers, firemen and women, persons with disabilities, and many
others free of charge.
You can count on Bobby to always tell you what he thinks and do what he says.
In all his years of practice, he never had a complaint filed
against him with the State Bar. He always works his hardest to achieve the best
results for his clients and to ensure quality of work in all that he does.
Written by J. Edward "Ed" Wilson, the highly-respected
Chief of Staff for the Office of the Mayor in Columbus during both of Bobby's consecutive
terms as mayor.
Edited by Leonard Tengco, a law student at Michigan State University
College of Law.