Bowden appointed to bench

Published 7:17 am Sunday, November 16, 2008

Following former Covington County Probate Judge Sherrie Phillips’s sentencing for theft, one of Pike County’s own has been appointed to her position.

Ben Bowden, son of Brundige City Councilman Lawrence Bowden and his wife Sarah, was born and raised in Brundidge.

He has been away from the county for some time, attending law school at the University of Alabama, serving in the Air Force and practicing law in Andalusia.

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Bowden was appointed by Gov. Bob Riley to take Phillips’s place, after she resigned and was then found guilty of stealing around $1.8 million and using her office for personal gain. Bowden was sworn in Friday.

As the new probate judge, Bowden said he will work to restore trust where it has been lost.

“The most important thing to me is to restore faith and integrity in this office,” he said. “I plan to do that by being very visible, working very hard and making sure everything we do honestly and above board.”

Bowden, who worked for the oldest law firm in the state, Albrittons, Clifton, Alverson, Moody and Bowden, said his move to probate judge is bittersweet.

“I will have to leave the firm, which I do with some amount of sadness because I really enjoyed it and really like being here,” Bowden said. “But to me, it’s just a great opportunity to be in public service, to get to work with people and to try to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Bowden was the representative of the landowners’ near the Troy Airport, but he will no longer be able to represent them in court.

“I regret that very much. I wanted to see that through to a successful end,” Bowden said.

As of now, he said he is not sure who the landowners will choose as their new attorney.