Agency chief feared in courtrooms

Luther “Brant” Brantley III has been the only executive director of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance since it opened its doors on June 1, 1980.

Brantley is retiring at the end of the month.

“As of now, I have 36 years in state service. And it’s something I have been considering for several years,” Brantley said. “Thirty-six years in state service is about long enough. It’s time to let someone new and different lead the commission.”

Hinds County Chancery Judge Patricia Wise, the immediate past chairperson of the commission, said Brantley has an extremely difficult job.

Wise said those in the judiciary would never be happy to see Brantley coming because it often meant he was serving a subpoena in a disciplinary matter. “But through it all, he maintained a level of professionalism,” Wise said.

New Commission Chairman Circuit Judge Henry Lackey, who exposed a judicial bribery scheme involving then-lawyer Dickey Scruggs, said Brantley will be difficult to replace.

“He is a professional in every way,” Lackey said. “There has never been a hint of suspicion that he has an agenda.”

Clarion Ledger