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Judge resigns amid probe about friend

ATLANTA -- A Georgia judge has resigned after a judicial panel investigated a personal relationship between him and a woman who was a defendant in a matter pending before his court.

Mountain Judicial Circuit Superior Court Chief Judge Ernest Woods resigned effective Jan. 15 in a December letter to Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Prosecutors told The Daily Report that the Judicial Qualifications Committee had been investigating Woods' Facebook messages with 35-year-old Tara Elizabeth Black.

Woods told the newspaper he is looking to move forward.

He said he ''just got tired of living under a microscope'' and is calling his departure from the bench a retirement.