The news release almost a month ago from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's office outlined nine appointments to state boards and commissions.
One item was short and sweet:
"Richard L. Hyde, Judicial Qualifications Commission
"Hyde is currently employed by the law firm of Balch and Bingham and the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission, as chief investigator. He earned a bachelor's degree from Georgia State University. Hyde has two sons, and he resides in Atlanta."
Talk about underplaying the news.
For the last six years, Hyde has been the primary investigator for the JQC, which investigates and sanctions Georgia judges for alleged misconduct.
And he is good at it.
There are more than 40 judges across the state who have left office when confronted with allegations and evidence collected by Hyde, a former Atlanta Police officer and lead investigator for the attorney general's office.
Hyde and his red pickup truck have spent a lot of time at the Columbus Government Center since early 2010. Two former Muscogee County Superior Court judges, Robert Johnston and Doug Pullen, resigned in the wake of JQC investigations led by Hyde.
In the past, all Hyde has had was a pickup truck and his reputation. Now, he has one of seven votes on the commission. Though they won't say it on the record, a lot of judges are wondering what this means.
What message was the governor sending to the state judiciary? Has the governor removed the bulldog's teeth or has he unleashed the bulldog in a new and more aggressive manner?
Time will tell.
JQC Director Jeff Davis would simply say, "the governor made a great appointment."
Muscogee County Superior Court Judge John Allen is chairman of the commission. He calls Hyde "a great investigator."
What Hyde understands is how to leverage those rules and procedures in back-office conversations with judges. Though the judges have the option of a trial in front of the JQC, many resign before the investigation hits that point.
Hyde and Johnston, who died about a year after leaving the bench in February 2010, spent some time sitting in the judge's car during lunch. Johnston went back to his office and sent Gov. Sonny Perdue a hand-written resignation letter.
Only two people know what was said in that car. One man isn't here, and one isn't talking.
After months of investigating Pullen, Hyde and Davis walked out of the Government Center with Pullen's early retirement and a commitment from the judge not to seek senior status, which would have increased his retirement pay and allowed him to continue to hear cases.
Hyde, the first Georgia peace officer to sit on the commission, clearly plays hardball.
A lot of judges are waiting to see what the rules are for the new game.
Chuck Williams, senior editor for content, email@example.com.