Agency wants judge suspended for allegedly fixing oyster fishing citations
by Associated Press
Published: June 8,2012
BAY ST. LOUIS — A state judicial watchdog agency is asking the Mississippi Supreme Court to suspend a Hancock County Justice Court judge for ticket fixing.
The petition was filed with the court by the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance against Judge Tommy Carver.
The Sea Coast Echo reports the petition cites Carver for misconduct for allegedly dismissing five citations after an informal conversation with a defendant.
According to the commission’s petition, marine officers wrote five citations to Steven Kent Roche in December 2010 for oyster fishing violations. Roche was to pay the fines or contest them in justice court by March 22, 2011.
Sometime before the March 22 court deadline, Roche went to Carver’s home to discuss the citations. Carver did not report the conversation to the county prosecutor of the marine officers, according to the petition.
A trial date was set for May 10, 2011, and then rescheduled for July 12, 2011. The petition contends officials learned on July 12 that Carver had dismissed the citations in July without a hearing or the knowledge of the county prosecutor and the others.
Carver, in response to the petition, claims that the conversation at his house consisted of small talk, the location of the courthouse and the trial date.
Carver also claims that on the May 10 trial date, Roche was present and pleaded not guilty and the charges were dismissed because the officers were not present. He does not mention the July 12 date in his response.
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