Circuit judge won’t contest reprimand

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 21, 1999

It appears that Circuit Judge Lillie Blackmon Sanders is not going to contest a reprimand she received from the Mississippi Supreme Court this month.

Since the court issued its Dec. 2 opinion, Sanders has yet to file a motion for rehearing or to ask for an extension.

&uot;They only have the 14 days from the time (the order) is handed down without getting an extension,&uot; from the court, said Linda Puckett, Assistant Deputy Clerk.

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The deadline to file was Dec. 16, Puckett said.

The Supreme Court cited Sanders for jailing Adams County Circuit Clerk Fred Ferguson on a $500,000 cash bond for contempt charges in 1997 and for clearing the records of two Amite County residents who had pleaded guilty to drug charges in 1995.

This month’s ruling is Sanders second reprimand by the Supreme Court, during her tenure as circuit clerk judge.

In 1998, she was fined $1,500 for suspending the sentences of two inmates.

As punishment in the latest case, the reprimand will be read in open circuit court in each of the four counties in the Sixth Circuit District.

Sanders is also required to pay $2,156.80 in court costs and to reverse the order expunging the records of Amite County residents, Ronald S. Havard and Gay N. Havard.

Amite County Circuit Clerk Sharon Walsh said she has not talked with Sanders about the matter.

&uot;I have not heard anything from her,&uot; Walsh said. &uot;The only thing I&160;know about it was what I read in the paper. I thought it might be after the holidays,&uot;&160;before the records were cleared.

The Mississippi Commission for Judicial Performance — the agency that oversees judges — had also asked the court to fine Sanders $3,000, but the court chose not to fine her.

Sanders has 30 days from Dec. 2 to pay her court costs. She was also told to reverse the expunging order immediately. She then has to notify the Havards, the district attorney’s office and the Commission.

Sanders could not be reached for comment Tuesday.