I have been struck by the number of negative articles being published by the Lagniappe that are negatively directed at our local judiciary. Your tabloid-like column, “Judicial ethics in question in MobCo” (Feb. 11), was particularly sensational and inflammatory.
After reading your article, it is clear the trifecta questioning judicial ethics in Mobile is the Lagniappe, a disgruntled judge who retired in lieu of a facing a judicial inquiry and a few sore losers who faced the difficult task of successfully challenging an incumbent.
Your references to former Judge Herman Thomas, the “spanking judge,” certainly make for entertaining reading, but his disgraceful actions are not a reflection of anyone other than himself. Equally entertaining are your references to retired Judge Rusty Johnston, who seems to be a major source of information for your article. Judge Johnston allegedly retired due to narcolepsy in lieu of facing a judicial inquiry.
I’d be willing to bet Johnston was facing removal from the bench for more than just being sleepy. Unfortunately, you failed to investigate the real reason Johnston was facing a judicial inquiry, choosing instead to focus on his trashy Facebook posts instead of educating your readers on the likely or actual motivation behind his public criticism of his fellow judges.
The fact that Johnston and Thomas are no longer on the bench clearly indicate ethics and competence are still, in fact, demanded of our sitting judges in Mobile.
You also failed to convince me of the correlation between judicial ethics and the lack of opposition to incumbents during election years. The silly assertion that attorneys are too scared to challenge a sitting judge during an election year because they fear reprisal from that judge in the courtroom is petty and insulting not only to Mobile’s judges, but also its attorneys.
Thank you, Mr. Holbert, for the entertainment. The only thing your article on judicial ethics made me question is your journalism.
Andrea Frazier, Mobile
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