John Ballard was appointed Counsel for Fiscal Policy in 2007. He serves as the lead attorney for the Department of Law on fiscal matters, is the primary contact for the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget and the legislative budget offices, and provides counsel within the Department and to clients on various governmental matters. He joined the Department as an intern in 1972 while in law school and remained on staff his senior year to become fulltime in 1973 after graduation.
He has litigated and advised in many of the practice areas handled by the Department, including in part criminal matters, administrative law, real property, procurement and the general business of government. Two cases include being on the brief in Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153 (1976) (upholding Georgia's current death penalty law) and defending the statutory authority for local government lease financing in Bauerband v. Jackson County, 278 Ga. 222 (2004). From 1990 to 1995 he supervised the real property and state authorities section of the Department and from 1995 until 2007 he organized and supervised a new "Business and Finance Section."
John served in the Army infantry in Vietnam in 1968. He has a chemistry degree from Northwestern University, and his law degree is from Emory University. He is admitted to the U.S Supreme Court and the state and federal courts in Georgia.