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In re Removal of Rogers

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

November 18, 2014

IN THE MATTER OF THE REMOVAL OF AZALEAN ROGERS A/K/A AZALEAN JONES FROM THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN OF THE CITY OF BOYLE, MISSISSIPPI: AZALEAN ROGERS APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, HON. JIM HOOD APPELLEE AZALEAN ROGERS A/K/A AZALEAN JONES APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

DATES OF JUDGMENT: 05/31/2013, 06/06/2013

COURT FROM WHICH APPEAL FROM BOLIVAR COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. HON. CHARLES E. WEBSTER JUDGE, HON. JOHNNIE E. WALLS JR. JUDGE

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: AZALEAN ROGERS (PRO SE)

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY ALISON ELIZABETH O'NEAL HAROLD EDWARD PIZZETTA III

BEFORE IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND JAMES, JJ.

FAIR, J.

¶1. The Attorney General filed a petition to remove Azalean Rogers from the Board of Aldermen of the City of Boyle, Mississippi, alleging that she had pled guilty to two felony counts of forgery in 1979. The trial court adjudicated Rogers to be a convicted felon, but it denied the petition to remove her from office and instead entered an order finding that R ogers was not a qualified elector and could not have her name placed on the ballot in future elections.[1] Rogers appeals, pro se, from that judgment. She also appeals the denial of her own motion to expunge the convictions, which was a separate cause heard by a different judge in the same circuit. We affirm both judgments because Rogers has not shown reversible error in either case.

DISCUSSION

¶2. Mississippi Code Annotated section 25-5-1 (Rev. 2010) states:

If any public officer, state, district, county or municipal, shall be convicted or enter a plea of guilty or nolo contendere in any court of this state or any other state or in any federal court of any felony other than manslaughter or any violation of the United States Internal Revenue Code, of corruption in office or peculation therein, or of gambling or dealing in futures with money coming to his hands by virtue of his office, any court of this state, in addition to such other punishment as may be prescribed, shall adjudge the defendant removed from office; and the office of the defendant shall thereby become vacant. If any such officer be found by inquest to be of unsound mind during the term for which he was elected or appointed, or shall be removed from office by the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction or otherwise lawfully, his office shall thereby be vacated; and in any such case the vacancy shall be filled as provided by law.
When any such officer is found guilty of a crime which is a felony under the laws of this state or which is punishable by imprisonment for one (1) year or more, other than manslaughter or any violation of the United States Internal Revenue Code, in a federal court or a court of competent jurisdiction of any other state, the Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall promptly enter a motion for removal from office in the circuit court of Hinds County in the case of a state officer, and in the circuit court of the county of residence in the case of a district, county or municipal officer. The court, or the judge in vacation, shall, upon notice and a proper hearing, issue an order removing such person from office and the vacancy shall be filled as provided by law.

Similarly, Article 12, Section 241 of the Mississippi Constitution states:

Every inhabitant of this state, except idiots and insane persons, who is a citizen of the United States of America, eighteen (18) years old and upward, who has been a resident of this state for one (1) year, and for one (1) year in the county in which he offers to vote, and for six (6) months in the election precinct or in the incorporated city or town in which he offers to vote, and who is duly registered as provided in this article, and who has never been convicted of murder, rape, bribery, theft, arson, obtaining money or goods under false pretense, perjury, forgery, embezzlement or bigamy, is declared to be a qualified elector, except that he shall be qualified to vote for President and Vice President of the United States if he meets the requirements established by Congress therefor and is otherwise a qualified elector.

In order to have one's name placed on the ballot, she must be a qualified elector, and she cannot be a convicted felon. See Miss. Code ...


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