Friday, July 19, 2019

Judge Suspended For Helping Hooker

The Commission on Judicial Performance suspended Hinds County Justice Court Judge Frank Sutton for improperly helping defendants.  The suspension will last thirty days and Judge Sutton must pay a $500 fine.  Judge Sutton is also the Pastor of Fairfield Baptist Baptist Church in Jackson.

A prostitute was busted on January 31.  The order states:

¶4. On January 31, 2018, Investigator Nick Brown with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department arrested and charged Amanda Howard with prostitution. Howard’s hearing was scheduled for February 22, 2018. The dayafter Howard’s arrest, Michael Liddell approached Judge Sutton in court and asked Judge Sutton if he could help Liddell with the charges pending against Howard. That afternoon, Judge Sutton called Investigator Brown and asked him if he could “help him out” on the prostitution charge against Howard because he knew her family. Investigator Brown told Judge Sutton that he would not “help him out” with the prostitution charge. That same day—February 1, 2018, Judge Sutton, sua sponte and without a hearing, remanded Howard’s prostitution charge to the file, subject to recall.
However, the Reverend's ministering continued on another case. 

¶5. On June 26, 2018, Investigator Keith Burnett, with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department, arrested Barry Jones and charged him with possession of marijuana. Jones’s mother, who is a parishioner at Fairfield Missionary Baptist Church where Judge Sutton serves as pastor, approached Judge Sutton and asked if he could help Jones. Judge Sutton called Investigator Burnett and inquired about Jones’s arrest and pending charges. Judge Sutton asked about the weight of the marijuana collected from Jones and whether the charge was a misdemeanor or felony. Investigator Burnett informed Judge Sutton that 35.2 grams of marijuana had been collected from Jones’s apartment and that he was charging Jones with “Possession of a Controlled Substance Felony.” The record is silent as to what Judge Sutton did with this information.
The Commission said contacting the investigators and discussing the case with the suspect's mother violated the standards of conduct for  a Judge as well as the integrity of the bench.


However, this is not the wayward Judge's first introduction to the Commission.  The Commission has disciplined him for similar activity:

Prior complaints and censures, though, weigh against Judge Sutton. During his fourteen-year tenure, he has had nine2 complaints against him. Of those nine complaints, the Commission resolved five of them by informal action resulting in letters of caution to Judge Sutton, two of them by formal complaints resulting in private admonishment and two of them by formal complaint, which were consolidated and submitted to this Court.

The Commission has issued cautionary letters to Judge Sutton five times: once in 2012, twice in 2016 and twice in 2017. In 2012, Judge Sutton failed to start court on time and treat the litigants and attorneys with the appropriate demeanor. In 2016, Judge Sutton failed to properly jail litigants in a contempt matter and failed to exhibit the appropriate judicial demeanor. In 2017, Judge Sutton twice failed to exhibit the appropriate judicial demeanor.

¶33. Also, the Commission has privately reprimanded Judge Sutton twice: once in 2005 and once in 2008. In 2005, Judge Sutton personally solicited funds for his reelection campaign. He entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Commission and received a private admonishment. In 2008, Judge Sutton engaged in improper ex parte communication. He entered into an agreed statement of facts and proposed recommendation with the Commission and received a private admonishment.....

Rankin County Court Judge Kent McDaniel presided over the hearing.  Judge Sutton represented himself. 

Kingfish note: Apparently all the letters and fines haven't gotten the Judge's attention.  Why shouldn't he keep acting a fool on the Bench? The Commission should have suspended him for a longer term.  Thirty days is just a paycheck.



18 comments:

Anonymous said...

We really ought to not have elected judges. You're just asking for this junk when you have judges elected on popularity

Anonymous said...

Michael Liddell has been getting blessings his whole life in Hinds County. Thank goodness he has a pending case in Rankin County where he won’t get the same blessings.. Take a look at his rap sheet kingfish.

Anonymous said...

Justice Court itself is a big joke in the judicial system. It attracts people who want to inflate their own egos with the title of "Judge" while knowing, or caring, little or nothing about the judicial process. The uneducated public don't generally know the difference between a justice court judge with a high school diploma and a federal court judge...which plays right into the hands of these jokers. They want people to think they have authority to do far more than they are authorized to do. The Supreme Court ought to establish a limit on these shenanigans and dismiss any "judge" who has more than two reprimands in a four year period.

Anonymous said...

"The reverend's ministering continued on another case"

LMAO !!!

Anonymous said...

Fourteen years? That's long enough. Isn't it about time for him to pass on his seat to his son or daughter? That's what they do nowadays, right?

Anonymous said...

@ 9:33

I agree completely. Also we do not need non-lawyer judges, part-time judges, or "jest us" court. Period

However, in the great scheme of things -- Mississippi judiciary-wise -- this amounts not to a pimple on the backside of judicial impropriety.

Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, may peace be upon Him, was said to have consorted with tax collectors and prostitutes. Can you blame this pitiful moron of a justice court judge for attempting to live the Gospel?

Anonymous said...

Politics should have no place in church or on the bench. There is truly nothing sacred when those who worship party affiliation get involved. They taint everything they touch. Political appointments for judges will only make it worse, just like political activism from the pulpit.

Anonymous said...

"Motion to fix, your honor."

"Motion sustained."

"Next case."

Do y'all think that his honor may have been getting some of that action? Asking for a friend.

Anonymous said...

So the good Reverend Judge gets in trouble for helping defendants but RSS helping them or “Judge” Tommie Green letting them go isn’t “helping” a defendant???

Anonymous said...

I agree with 10:02 and 10:45 - look at Madison county JC. You have two judges that are attorneys that have passed the bar then you have one judge that is a sitting Madison county supervisors daughter that was elected solely on her last name and one judge that was elected because of his daddy's name as well. His dad was a respected attorney in Madison county. Not sure what Jr's function was before he was elected to the JC bench but he damn sure wasn't an attorney. He replaced the defrocked JC judge.

Anonymous said...

About time this joke of a judge got his hand slapped - but he should get his butt kicked if the bar would do its job rather than running from it.

Sutton tries to practice his preaching abilities from the bench - asked one defendant if he was a Christian. In the same trial, stated from the bench he was believing one witness over the other because "he was a preacher". Facts be damned, the black preacher was believed rather than the white defendant.

Of course, got overturned on appeal where the Hinds County Judge decided to follow the law, and the facts. But when a complaint was filed with the MS Bar, it was ignored and dismissed without investigation.

But I'm sure "judge" Sutton won't miss his paycheck for this month's suspension - will surely be covered by those folks he has been covering for all these years.

Anonymous said...

1:45, The Mississippi Bar has no jurisdiction over a non-lawyer such as Judge Sutton. It had to dismiss the compliant without investigation. The proper place to file that complaint is with the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance. Those are same folks, with Judge Kent McDaniel presiding, that took action against Sutton.

Anonymous said...

Wait one damn second...Both a jerg and a pastor? Dang ya'll!

Anonymous said...

2:24 - complaint was filed with the Commission. Misstated in the post. Got confused because the MS Bar is just as delinquent with complaints filed about sorry-ass lawyers that are given to them. (For folks that think the Hinds County Judges let crooks off too easily, check out the MS Bar's treatment of malcreants from their 'profession'.) But off the subject of the complaint filed with the Judicial Commission.

Anonymous said...

5:26, thanks for clarifying. I certainly wasn’t disagreeing with your assessment of the Bar Association and lawyer discipline. With your explanation it seems like the judicial performance folks aren’t that much better. Perhaps that’s why the Supreme Court added 30 days to the Commission recommendation. Though as KF and others note, still might be too lenient.

Agree with those who speak about the pitfalls of electing judges and ability of justice court judges in general. Damn, Mississippi sure is backwards on some things.

Anonymous said...

At some point this judge will not follow the law against the wrong person and they will investigate his past actions. He has ignored evidence many times and sided with friends and members of his church. It's out there if someone wants to go find it.

Anonymous said...

Did his on-her receive a few freebies? Received some oral arguments?

Asking for a friend.

Anonymous said...

Preacher who's a jurdge
Policeman who's got a liquor store
Coroner who owns a funeral home
Real estate agent who sells insurance
County Supervisor who works for developers
Sushi chef who runs a bait store

Erry preacher-man and jurdge since time Imemortable (and then some) been done got some on the side.

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