Whipple-Lue dispute headed to federal court today | News
A federal magistrate judge Tuesday dismissed a criminal complaint asking to remove the judge presiding over Gordon Mayor Mary Ann Whipple-Lue's case.
Bobby Worthy, an activist from Blackshear, filed the complaint, alleging that Judge Robert Reeves acted improperly when he suspended Whipple Lue twice.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Weigle dismissed the complaint. Weigle said private citizens can't file a criminal case in federal courts.
Weigle said Worthy should contact the U.S. attorney's office or federal law enforcement officers if he wants to proceed with the case.
Worthy said he plans to do that. But he also said he disagrees with Weigle's ruling.
"I'm not gonna stop," Weigle said. "I'll take it all the way to the Supreme Court if I have to. I understand his argument about in the name of the name of the United States court. But that's their form that they came up with. That's the form they got for us to use, then they need to change the form."
Meanwhile, Whipple-Lue remains suspended. A hearing is scheduled for July 22 to decide whether she will remain out of office until her August 1 court hearing.
Neither she nor her lawyer, Wayne Kendall, were present at Tuesday's federal court hearing.
Last month, Superior Court Judge Robert Reeves suspended Whipple-Lue due to complaints by a citizens group.
But in his unsuccessful complaint, Worthy accuses the judge of conspiring to violate Whipple-Lue's rights.
He also filed a complaint against Terry Eady, the acting mayor of Gordon and one of Whipple-Lue's critics.
Eady and other people in Gordon say Whipple-Lue had held illegal meetings, spent city money without authorization and improperly handled city personnel records. Whipple-Lue, who is black, says she's done nothing wrong and that her critics are motivated by race.
In his complaint, describing the alleged conspiracy, Worthy wrote that Reeves, "without warning, with no oral hearing, with no lawyers present and more importantly, with no sound legal bases, by ordering the sheriff's department to remove an elected official from office without authority or jurisdiction. Terry Eady filed false charges against an elected official."
Worthy describes himself as national president of the Justice League United. By telephone Tuesday morning, he said the critics' complaints against Whipple-Lue are part of a campaign against other black mayors in Georgia.