By JB Clark
TUPELO – Lee County Justice Court Judge Rickey Thompson canceled a Wednesday press conference in which he was going to address the court’s recertification woes.
No reason was given for the cancellation, which was given on short notice.
The conference had been called to address a letter from the Mississippi Administrative Office Of Courts telling Thompson that Lee County’s misdemeanor drug court’s certification expired in March.
The letter ordered Thompson, under Mississippi Code Ann. § 9-23-11(1)(a), to cease drug court operations until he has completed the recertification process.
Lee County prosecutor James Moore said he is recommending the judge sign an order dismissing charges and expunging the records of all participates who have paid their fines since they can’t complete the rest of their court-ordered requirements in the absence of a certified drug court.
The court went through the certification process prior to receiving certification March 5, 2010, and the certification was valid for three years.
Joey Craft, state drug court coordinator, said the certification is a case-by-case process but couldn’t recall a case when recertification was denied.
He also said, until the court’s certification is rectified, decisions made by the court since March must be worked out with the county prosecutor.