CL – Judge won’t dismiss Judge Patton from suit

A federal judge has refused to throw out a lawsuit against a sitting county judge accused of knowingly making false claims to authorities.

U.S. District Judge Tom Lee last week rejected Hinds County Judge Houston Patton’s assertion that as a judge he could not be held liable.

James Jennings Jr. of Mendenhall filed the lawsuit in 2008 against Patton and former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters.

The lawsuit revolves around a 1997 incident in which Patton accused Jennings and Jennings’ attorney, J. Keith Shelton, of trying to bribe him over a complaint Jennings filed against Patton with the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance, the state’s watchdog group for judges.

Clarion-Ledger
2/28/10