Justice court judge recommended for reprimand, suspension

CORINTH – A recommendation from the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance would vacate one of Alcorn County’s two justice court judge positions for several months.
The commission has recommended to the Mississippi Supreme Court that Judge Steve Little be publicly reprimanded, suspended for 90 days without pay and assessed costs of $100 for fixing 16 misdemeanor DUI traffic tickets.
Little will continue to hear cases in Alcorn County Justice Court until the Supreme Court acts on the commission’s recommendations, which could take several months. The Supreme Court could impose a lighter or a heavier penalty.
According to the commission’s findings, Little mishandled misdemeanor cases of driving under the influence for 16 separate defendants between March 2008 and January 2010.
The investigation began in early July, and no justice court was held on a regularly scheduled date July 6 by Little or Justice Court Judge Jimmy McGee. Court sessions resumed July 13.
Documents filed with the Supreme Court say that Little “has acknowledged his errors and has fully cooperated with the investigation of the commission.”
The misconduct findings said that Little did not properly prosecute the misdemeanor DUI charges and in essence reduced the charges. The documents also said he did not prosecute DUI charges when a defendant successfully completed an alcohol or drug treatment program, which is not a valid basis for failure to prosecute.

Contact Lena Mitchell at 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal