Local attorney Farkas in jail on contempt charges

ALBANY, Ga. -- A Superior Court judge held an Albany attorney in contempt Friday and sent him to the Dougherty County jail.

Leonard Farkas was sentenced to 20 days in jail and a $500 fine after an 11:30 a.m. hearing by Judge of State Court for the Dougherty Judicial Circuit John Salter, according to court documents.

Citing ethical considerations and the possibility of Farkas filing an appeal, Salter didn't comment on the case.

District attorney Greg Edwards said that if Farkas pays his fine, 19 days of incarceration can be suspended. He must spend the first night in jail, Edwards added.

"He (Farkas) failed to appear at a trial for a client's misdemeanor domestic charges on June 1," said. "The judge held him in contempt."

On the trial day the defendant, Ernest Emmanuel Sibley, the prosecutor, Victoria Johnson, the judge and everyone else connected to the case was in court, but Farkas didn't show, said Heather Lanier, chief assistant district attorney.

Lanier presented the case to Salter at the contempt hearing. The citation indicated Farkas received notice to appear for Sibley's scheduled trial, failed to file notice he wouldn't be available and that he "obstructed and interfered with the orderly administration of justice."

Salter and Lanier said they didn't like having to deal with one of the legal community in a contempt action.

"It is not something I enjoy, prosecuting a fellow member of the bar," Lanier said. "But it sometimes has to be done."

Farkas could not be reached at the jail.