Meridian Star

New Today

September 18, 2013

Former city court judge wants job back


HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — A former Hattiesburg City Court judge has filed a lawsuit asking for unspecified damages and reinstatement to her former position as a City Court judge.

The Hattiesburg American reports ( ) Vanessa Jones filed the lawsuit Sept. 6 in Forrest County Circuit Court, alleging slander and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims.

The suit alleges the city, along with other unknown defendants, made statements to the media and general public that slandered and defamed Jones.

"Defendants allowed and perpetuated statements to the effect that the Plaintiff signed blank court documents that could be misused in some fashion or words to that effect," the suit states. " ... The words used imputed guilt or commission of some criminal offense involving moral turpitude."

The suit also argues the city set out to humiliate Jones and that she was wrongfully deprived of her position.

Jones asks for compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive or other relief deemed appropriate.

According to information released by the Hattiesburg Police Department last year, an internal investigation uncovered City Court employees improperly destroying warrants and receiving rewards for dismissing tickets, fines and warrants.

One clerk was fired, and three were suspended briefly without pay and then reassigned during the restructuring of the court that followed.

Following the investigation, the court changed from a rotating, three-judge system to a full-time, single-judge system. Mayor Johnny DuPree maintained that such a switch was being examined before the investigation.

Former court clerk Sharon Mark filed a similar lawsuit, also penned by Chaze.

The city's answer to Mark's suit argued her claims were administrative in nature, that she was fired as a result of her misconduct and several other defenses.

City attorney Charles Lawrence said he had not yet seen the complaint, but that the city will fight the lawsuit.

Text Only
New Today
Biz Marquee
New Today

Do you think the city of Meridian should require developers of new subdivisions to build sidewalks

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide