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IN RE: INQUIRY CONCERNING A JUSTICE COURT JUDGE ROBERT C. COOKSEY

NOVEMBER 18, 1987

IN RE: INQUIRY CONCERNING A JUSTICE COURT JUDGE ROBERT C. COOKSEY




EN BANC

PER CURIAM

This matter is before the Court upon the motion of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance (hereinafter" Commission ") for approval of recommendations with respect to its Inquiry Concerning a Judge, No. 86-101, to-wit: Justice Court Judge Robert C. Cooksey, together with the written Response of Judge Cooksey filed with the Court. By virtue thereof, it appears as follows:

1. That pursuant to a complaint filed with the Commission and the subsequent investigation thereof, the Commission filed a formal complaint on December 16, 1986, against Robert C. Cooksey, Justice Court Judge, Post 2, Webster County, Mississippi, and that on January 5, 1987, Judge Cooksey answered the complaint:

 2. That a formal hearing was held before a committee of the Commission, a full and complete transcript of which is contained in the record before this Court;

 3. That, upon formal hearing on May 29, 1987, and consideration of the pleadings and agreement of counsel, the

 committee entered its proposed findings of fact and recommended sanction, a public reprimand by the Supreme Court of Mississippi;

 4. That on August 14, 1987, the full Commission adopted the Committee's proposed findings and recommendation;

 5. That, pursuant to Section 177A of the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 and Rule 10A of the Rules of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance, this matter was placed before this Court for its consideration of the decision of the Commission;

 6. That Judge Cooksey has stated in writing personally and through counsel that he has no objection or exception to the motion filed by the Commission and that he agrees that it may be accepted by the Supreme Court and that an order may be entered thereon directing the aforesaid public reprimand.

 7. That the Commission and Judge Cooksey have filed with the Court an Agreed Statement of Facts and Grounds for Reprimand, to-wit:

 FACTS

 On Saturday, September 13, 1986, Judge Travis O. Pittman, Justice Court Judge Post 1, Webster County, Mississippi, was holding court in his office at the Webster County Justice Court office. Judge Robert C. Cooksey, Justice Court Judge Post 2, Webster County was also scheduled to hold court that day in his office. Included in the cases set for that day before Judge Pittman were criminal charges filed by the Department of Wildlife Conservation on September 6, 1986, against George Graham, Terry Graham and Stephen Melton for dove hunting violations. George Graham appeared on behalf of himself and the other defendants. Also present in Pittman's office were Wildlife Conservation Officers Thomas Ingram and Terry Thomas, who is the supervisor of wardens for the five county district which includes Webster County, Garvin Deshler, Constable for District 1, Webster County, and Deputy Sheriff Reuben McCloskey. Webster County Prosecuting Attorney Jan Butler and Sheriff Bill

 Middleton were present for part of the incident.

 Judge Pittman called the Graham and Melton cases and George Graham came forward to plead guilty for himself and the other defendants. AS Pittman was telling Graham what the fine would be for himself and the other defendants, the Respondent, Judge Robert C. Cooksey, burst into Pittman's office and in a loud and boisterous manner disrupted the court proceedings which were therein in progress. Judge Cooksey accused Judge Pittman and the officers of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Conservation of forum shopping, saying the officers were guilty of forum shopping and Pittman was guilty of taking their tickets. He ...


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