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Area attorney surrenders law license

Searcy Donald McClure, III, is charged with possession of cocaine by the APD

Searcy Donald McClure

Searcy Donald McClure

— ALBANY — A Southwest Georgia attorney has surrendered his license to practice law to the Georgia Supreme Court as he awaits trial on felony cocaine possession charges, officials say.

Searcy Donald McClure III of Leesburg voluntarily surrendered his license Monday morning, court officials say.

Voluntary surrender is tantamount to disbarment, a fate that McClure faced if convicted of a felony, said Paula Frederick, general counsel for the State Bar of Georgia.

McClure, whose office is listed on Gornto Road in Valdosta on the state Bar’s website, was charged Aug. 8, 2008 with felony possession of cocaine and DUI. His address, according to the warrants filed against him, lists Leesburg as his residence.

A court official familiar with McClure’s case said Monday that prosecutors had offered the attorney a deal to drop the cocaine charge if he agreed to surrender his license, although his case is still active according to the Dougherty County Clerk of Court’s office.

Court records show that McClure was set to appear in Dougherty Superior Court on Jan. 4 to enter a plea to the charges against him. That hearing was ultimately rescheduled. On Jan. 5, McClure was arrested and booked into the Dougherty County Jail on charges of driving under the influence less safe and following too closely, jail officials say.

While Monday’s action officially prevents McClure from practicing law in Georgia, it’s not the first time he’s run afoul of basic legal ethics rules.

The State Bar, according to its website, has suspended McClure’s certification for failure to pay his dues.

You can read the justices' opinion by clicking HERE.