Magistrate dismisses complaint alleging Gordon mayor’s civil rights violated

awomack@macon.comJuly 15, 2014 

Gordon Mayor Mary Ann Whipple-Lue

During a Tuesday hearing that lasted just seven minutes, a federal magistrate dismissed complaints alleging that the mayor of Gordon’s civil rights were violated.

Bobby Worthy, president of the Blackshear-based Justice League United civil rights organization, filed criminal complaints last week against Superior Court Judge Robert Reeves and Terry Eady, Gordon’s mayor pro tem.

Reeves is the judge presiding over a lawsuit filed by Eady and others that seeks to remove Mayor Mary Ann Whipple-Lue from office.

Worthy contends that Whipple-Lue was denied her right to have an attorney present at two June hearings that resulted in Reeves’ issuing temporary restraining orders, suspending her from office for 30 days each time.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Magistrate Judge Charles H. Weigle asked Worthy a series of questions, seeking to learn whether he was a police officer, a lawyer, a resident of Wilkinson County or a party in the pending lawsuit.

He answered “no” to each question, as he did to questions of whether he’d discussed his complaints with federal law enforcement or federal prosecutors.

Weigle cited several federal cases in which judges had ruled that individuals are prohibited from initiating criminal complaints such as Worthy’s. Weigle directed Worthy to the requisite federal authorities, such as the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“At this time, I cannot entertain your complaint,” he said.

The hearing, scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m., began 10 minutes late because of an overflow crowd.

After the hearing, Worthy told a group of reporters that he’d talk with the FBI and federal prosecutors.

“I’ll take it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if I have to,” he said.

Worthy, who admitted that he has an expunged forgery conviction that dates back more than 20 years, said he traveled to Madison on Monday to file complaints with the Judicial Qualifications Commission. The complaints seek Reeves’ removal from the bench.

Worthy said he and the dozen people who rode with him were unable to find the JQC’s office despite asking a judge for directions. The JQC is the state agency that investigates judicial misconduct.

He said he mailed 63 complaints Tuesday. The complaints are substantively the same.

On July 22, Reeves is set to consider whether the Whipple-Lue’s suspension will be extended until the lawsuit is resolved.

Eady, another councilman and several members of the Concerned Citizens of Gordon group filed suit in March. They alleged malfeasance and contended that Whipple-Lue had violated provisions of the state’s Open Meetings Act multiple times since she took office in January.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.

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