Franks asks court to dismiss Scott’s lawsuit

TUPELO – Jamie Franks’ attorneys on Tuesday asked for the dismissal of a lawsuit against him by Lee County Superintendent Mike Scott.
Jason Herring of Tupelo, Franks’ lawyer, filed the Circuit Court motion, which says Scott’s claims aren’t covered by the legal rules he cites.
The document claims Scott hasn’t been specific enough in his accusations against Franks.
“It is convincingly clear and undisputed” that Scott “cannot prove the element of damages” required by state law, it adds.
The Daily Journal also learned that the case may lose its second specially appointed judge, Billy Bridges of Rankin County. He was appointed after its first special judge, Woodrow W. Brand Jr., of Houston took himself off the case Aug. 19.
The Mississippi Supreme Court appoints special judges when the case lacks someone to preside. The need arose July 27 when all four judges in Circuit District 1 withdrew from presiding over the civil lawsuit.
Beverly Kraft, a spokeswoman for state Supreme Court, said the court hasn’t received any notice from Bridges, a senior judge.
Scott filed his lawsuit July 23 against Franks and Eric Hampton, a Tupelo businessman, whom Scott claims conspired to defame, embarrass him and interfere with his employment.
In addition to being a Tupelo attorney, Franks is chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party. Hampton is his Lee County counterpart.
Scott won his countywide office in 2007 as a Democrat.
During a July 12 meeting of the Lee County Democratic Executive Committee, Hampton reportedly led a discussion about censuring Scott for an extramarital affair with school district employee Lisa Franks, who divorced Jamie Franks in June.
The next evening, Hampton addressed the Lee County School Board about Scott’s behavior, and he also suggested more details would be coming about Scott if he did not resign from office.
Earlier in the month, Jamie Franks threatened Scott and the school board with an alienation of affection lawsuit seeking $500,000. He has not filed that action yet.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal