Complaints alleging that the mayor of Gordons civil rights were violated are set for a Tuesday hearing before a federal magistrate.
The filings contend that Mary Ann Whipple-Lue, Gordons suspended mayor, was denied her right to have an attorney present at two June hearings that resulted in her temporary removal from office, said Bobby Worthy, president of the Blackshear-based Justice League United civil rights organization.
Worthys complaints name Middle Circuit Superior Court Judge Robert Reeves, the judge in the case, as well as Terry Eady, Gordons mayor pro tem.
Eady, another councilman and several members of the Concerned Citizens of Gordon group filed suit in March seeking to remove Whipple-Lue from office. They alleged malfeasance and violations of the states Open Meetings law multiple times since she took office in January.
Its unclear what will happen at Tuesdays hearing.
U.S. Attorney Michael Moore, Middle Georgias chief federal prosecutor, said a person cant file a criminal complaint with the court directly. A complaint can, however, be filed with the FBI.
Worthy, who also serves as a local minister of law and justice for the New Black Panther Party, said he hopes the hearing will result in Reeves arrest.
He had a hearing without her attorney being there and without her present, Worthy said. That is conspiracy, when two or more people get together and deprive a person of a right that is secured by the U.S. Constitution.
Worthy, who is not a lawyer, said a mayor can only be removed through a recall effort, by a governor or following a criminal indictment.
He contends Gordons city charter only allows for a temporary restraining order if irreversible harm is proven -- which he alleges hasnt been shown because Whipple-Lue wasnt present at the two hearings.
The Concerned Citizens group has maintained Gordons charter allows for the mayors removal from office on grounds of incompetence, misfeasance or malfeasance following a hearing in Superior Court.
Reeves declined comment Monday, citing the Code of Judicial Conduct, which prohibits judges from commenting on cases.
Eady said he hasnt officially been notified of any charges. All hes heard is from the grapevine.
He said he hasnt been told to appear in court during Tuesdays hearing.
Im not worried about anything, Eady said.
Worthy said he planned to pick up about 50 of Whipple-Lues supporters Monday afternoon and travel to the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commissions office in Madison to file dozens of complaints against Reeves, seeking to remove him from office.
Although he estimated between 45 and 60 complaints would be filed, Worthy said each was substantively the same.
Its all surrounding what happened to Mayor Whipple-Lue, he said.
The JQC is the state agency that investigates judges and can remove them from office.
JQC Chairman Robert Ingram said that while any person can file a complaint, the commission wont release information about a complaint unless formal charges are filed.
JQC records dont reflect any public actions taken against Reeves, who has been a Superior Court judge since 2007 in Candler, Emanuel, Jefferson, Toombs and Washington counties.
Worthy said he wont rest until Reeves is punished.
Before I die, Im going to make sure, if it takes 10 years, that Judge Reeves is put in prison for what he did, he said.
Whipple-Lues lawyer, Wayne Kendall said he isnt a part of Worthys effort.
Asked whether Worthys actions could help or hurt the mayor, Kendall replied, I dont know what theyre doing. ... I havent had a real conversation with them about what theyre doing.
Kendall filed an emergency motion with the Georgia Court of Appeals after Reeves issued a second 30-day temporary restraining order July 3. His motion was denied.
A hearing is scheduled next week to determine whether the suspension will continue until a final ruling is issued in the Concerned Citizens lawsuit.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.