The judge who was scheduled to hear Baldwin County Commission Chairman Chris Elliott’s legal challenge of the suspension of his driver’s license recused himself Friday because Elliott’s attorney is the judge’s brother.
Elliott’s civil case was set Monday for a bench trial before Circuit Judge Clark Stankoski. But Stankoski recused himself Friday afternoon because his brother, Rob Stankoski, represents Elliott.
The commissioner was arrested in May in Fairhope on a charge of driving under the influence. He refused a Breathalyzer test, which under state law would have required an automatic 90-day suspension of his driver’s license.
Instead, Elliott filed the civil suit against the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency challenging the suspension. Circuit Judge Langford Floyd stayed the suspension until the case could be heard this month.
Floyd retired in December and Stankoski, who had been a district judge, was appointed recently to fill the vacancy. With his recusal, another judge will have to be assigned to the case and a new trial date set.
Rob Stankowski has previously said Elliott is seeking the continuation of his driving privileges because otherwise “he will be unable to work and serve in his elected capacity as a Baldwin County commissioner.”
Allegedly, Elliott was arrested for DUI after running a red light more than two hours after the end of the Fairhope Rotary Steak Cook-off May 14. As Lagniappe reported in October, anonymous tips suggested Elliott had actually been at a Fairhope bar following the cook-off and prior to his arrest. Lagniappe also located social media posts from the time in which Elliott’s version of events was publicly called into question.
In response, Stankowski said Elliott was sticking by his original story and, further, “facing the consequences of his actions and will not address any of the facts in the past. He does stand by his press release, and looks forward to moving forward and serving his constituents.”Commissioner’s DUI license suspension hearing delayed again