Demand on Scott may get a review

TUPELO – Lee County’s Democratic Executive Committee is expected today to reconsider its call for the resignation of Education Superintendent Mike Scott.
E-mails sent over the weekend suggest the group will discuss a resolution to disavow involvement with the demand that some members of the group initiated last month.
The action against Scott led to a lawsuit against the committee’s chairman, Eric Hampton, and Tupelo attorney Jamie Franks, who is chairman of the state party.
The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. at the Lee County Justice Center.
It’s not immediately clear if Hampton will be removed as chairman but several committee members have urged that action, too.
Scott was elected in 2007 as a Democrat. His term runs until the end of 2011.
On July 12, Hampton called a meeting of the 29-member committee to take action against Scott, who was accused of an extramarital affair with Lisa Franks while she was still married to Jamie Franks. A call for Scott’s resignation was approved at that meeting.
A week later, Hampton met privately with the Lee County Board of Education and asked its members to take action against Scott for “conducting unbecoming as a school official.”
As a countywide elected official, Scott is directly responsible to the voters, not the board, to keep his job. But he has a contract with the board, which controls his pay. He remains on the job.
Jamie Franks filed notice he intended to sue Scott for alienating the affections of his then-wife. Scott said it was Franks’ behavior that alienated his wife.
Since then, Scott publicly admitted the affair and asked his family’s forgiveness.
He also sued Hampton and Jamie Franks, accusing them of extortion, interfering with his employment, defamation and negligence.
In the latest development, the Mississippi Supreme Court appointed Woodrow W. Brand Jr. of Houston, a senior status judge, to preside over the lawsuit after all four of District 1 judges excused themselves from the case filed in Lee County.
Brand, 76, is a former mayor, chancery and circuit judge.
A senior status judge is a retired judge who is available to preside over cases in special circumstances.
Scott accuses Jamie Franks of using his state party position to influence Hampton to bring their personal problems to the public’s attention.
Franks and Hampton deny they conspired to attack Scott.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

Patsy Brumfield / NEMS Daily Journal