Cobb County Superior Court distributed the following announcement of long-time Cobb public defender Michael Syrop’s move to take the Public Defender position in Paulding County:
Cobb Superior Court bid a fond farewell to defense attorney Michael Syrop, who has been named the Public Defender in Paulding County.
Syrop, who has practiced law in Cobb for 30 years, had served as a contract attorney for Cobb’s Circuit Defender’s Office for nearly two dozen years. In addition, he represented participants in Cobb’s accountability courts for 16 years.
Superior Court Judge Ann Harris, who presides over Mental Health Court and Parental Accountability Court, said: “Michael has been a valued member of the accountability court teams here in Cobb for years. He has a heart for the program participants and advocates staunchly for them, especially when they have run afoul of program requirements and their future in the program hangs in the balance.
“At the same time, he never loses sight of the importance of program integrity and core concepts of the criminal justice system such as due process and fairness,” she said. “Our loss is Paulding County’s gain.”
Accountability Courts aim to treat an offender’s underlying issues and return individuals to being productive members of society while reducing the cost of incarcerating generally non-violent offenders. Cobb has four such courts: Drug Treatment Court and Veterans Accountability and Treatment Court, as well as the mental health and parental courts.
To mark Syrop’s last day in Cobb on Sept. 30, Judge Harris, along with Chief Judge Rob Leonard and Judge Kimberly Childs, presented Syrop with a commemorative tablet to recognize his years of service to Cobb. Chief Leonard presides over Veterans Court, and Judge Childs presides over Drug Treatment Court.
Scott Halperin, Cobb’s Circuit Defender, said Syrop will be difficult to replace.
“He’s been an invaluable asset,” Halperin said. “He has a true passion for what we do.”