By JB Clark
TUPELO – About 60 supporters of Lee County Justice Court Judge Rickey Thompson marched Thursday in protest of a judicial performance recommendation calling for Thompson’s removal from office.
The Mississippi Supreme Court has not made a decision regarding a complaint against Thompson or released its details, but multiple people familiar with the complaint have reported the commission recommended Thompson’s seat be vacated in a 2-1 vote.
The Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance heard the complaint lodged against Thompson in March.
The Rev. Charles Penson said the show of support Thursday morning was to let the Supreme Court know there are people in Lee County who don’t have complaints with the judge and think he should keep his seat.
“It was a split vote which means one of the judges on the three-judge panel dissented and thinks, at most, Judge Thompson should just be given a suspension or fine,” Penson said. “We don’t think he’s done anything warranting his removal from office.”
Supporters marched in a circle in front of the Lee County Board of Supervisors building at 11:30 Thursday morning singing “I Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.”
Thompson was supposed to go before the commission in December but the hearing was delayed when an agreement was reached to end his misdemeanor drug court operations and stop hearing Lee County cases until an official decision is made.
While his workload is significantly reduced, Thompson can still hear some cases in Lee County Justice Court.
Once the Mississippi Supreme Court makes a decision regarding the Commission on Judicial Performance’s recommendation, the details surrounding the complaint should be made public.
Thompson did not return phone calls Thursday.