Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Judge Mike Jones and the Two Teachers

Today Judge Michael Jones refused to recuse himself in the the Allen Wilson assault trial. Wilson (pictured at left), an instructor at Allen Thornton Vocational School, is accused of an unprovoked attack on another teacher. Defense attorney Tim Case requested Jones' recusal on the basis of Wilson's campaign contributions to a former opponent of Judge Jones.

However, last fall, Jones did recuse himself in the rape trial of Keith McGuire (pictured at right). McGuire is a former Clements teacher who has also been accused of sexual misconduct with at least four students at that Limestone County School. McGuire's father is Bobby McGuire, the current mayor of Lexington and one of the founders of the Lexington Rescue Squad, the basis of Jones' recusal.

Gil Self has not yet been sworn in as the second Lauderdale County Circuit Court judge, a fact that would delay Wilson's trial if Jones had agreed to Case's request. Still, every citizen should both desire and expect the judiciary to avoid any appearance of partiality. If Wilson is found guilty, Mr. Case will undoubtedly use Jones' actions as a basis for appeal, an appeal that will cost the taxpayers of Lauderdale County.

What's up with this: A reader informs us that Sue Schmitz, former director of Decatur's CITY project, also claimed to have performed work for Florence's sister project. Well, at least she was versatile in the work she didn't do.