ALBANY — Former Dougherty County District Attorney Ken Hodges sat on the dais at Albany Technical College’s Kirkland Center Friday night, bracing himself for the slings and arrows he knew were headed his way.
As the target of this year’s Roast and Silent Auction, a fund-raising event by the Albany Technical College Foundation, friends and former colleagues strode to the podium to deliver their best shots, much to the delight of the overflow crowd in attendance.
All Hodges could do was grin and bear it.
“I have to be careful here, because my wife reminded me that from time to time I have to go to court, Albany Tech President Antony Parker said at the beginning of the roast. “So I am going to skip my part. We’ve got folks here from the legal profession who will handle it tonight.”
Roasters for the event were Dougherty County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas, State Court Judge Victoria Darrisaw, Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards, former Dougherty Commission Chair Jeff “Bodine” Sinyard and Phoebe Putney Health Systems CEO Joel Wernick.
“It is ironic that Dr. Parker brought a lawyer and a politician in here tonight to roast a lawyer and a politician,” Cohilas said. “That being said, I am not here to roast Ken Hodges. I am here to defend my good friend Ken Hodges. I am not going to talk about the tab he accrued at the Cab Stand or the thousands of dollars he hit us up for as he got pummeled in the attorney general’s race. When he ran some people said he was not competent to run for attorney general, but he does have a well-defined history of hiring competent people to do the work for him.”
Darrisaw was the next to get her swings in.
“My mama told me if I had a problem, she said break out the southern secret weapon, and whatever you say end it with ‘bless his heart’.” Darrisaw said. “Ken is a little passive aggressive, bless his heart. Working with Ken helped me learn how to deal with challenging situations. Having said that, Ken, you are a wonderful fellow. Bless your heart.”
Edwards then pulled out a PowerPoint presentation that skewered Hodges for his absence of driving skills while Sinyard took a different tack.
“Ken is a humble and shy guy and I am excited to be here because I made my last payment on his campaign last month,” Sinyard said.
An Albany native, Hodges ran unsuccessfully for Georgia attorney general in 2010 after serving as Dougherty County’s district attorney for 12 years. He is widely recognized for his legal and civic accomplishments. A few of his notable achievements include the 2013 State Bar’s Commitment to Equality Award. Hodges currently serves on the executive committee for the State Bar of Georgia and its Board of Governors.
Hodges was most recently named a 2014 “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend Magazine; a 2014 “Super Lawyer,” a designation earned by less than 5 percent of lawyers in the nation, and is rated “AV,” the highest rating given by Martindale Hubble, the preeminent legal ranking system in the nation.
He joined the Albany law firm of Flynn, Peeler and Phillips last month.
The ATC foundation conducts two major fundraisers each year — a golf tournament in the fall and the roast in the spring. The funds raised through these events go toward foundation scholarships, college programs, activities and generally support the needs of the college.