This afternoon we learned from our friends at the Clarion Ledger that Judge Bobby Delaughter has acquiesed to a temporary suspension request by the Commission on Judicial Performance. The Jerry Mitchell story at the Clarion Ledger filed this afternoon stated in part:
The state Commission on Judicial Performance asked the state Supreme Court to temporarily remove DeLaughter from the bench until the commission could review two complaints filed against the judge.
The Justice Department’s Public Integrity Division is investigating DeLaughter and others in connection with allegations lawyers schemed to influence him to rule in favor of famed Mississippi lawyer Dickie Scruggs in 2006.
“While I vehemently desire to dispute current media reports, I have declined further comment because I am of the opinion that judicial ethics require a judge to be circumspect concerning any investigation, even one concerning that judge,” DeLaughter wrote. “I will continue to take this high road and very much look forward to the day that I am afforded the opportunity by the Judicial Performance Commission to be fully heard in a setting where established rules of civil procedure and evidence apply, the goal of which is a search for the truth.
“I believe with all my heart in the system, and therefore place complete trust in the commission and the (state) Supreme Court to give these matters dispassionate and considered fair judgment, guided by the rules and the law. Once that is done, I will quietly and humbly abide by their decisions.
“The complete truth cannot be known to the citizens until a hearing, separating fact from fiction. Until that time, I realize that public confidence cannot reasonably be expected to be restored.
“That confidence is critical to our judicial system and therefore very important to me as a person and as a judge. If the Judicial Performance Commission and Mississippi Supreme Court believe that my temporary suspension, pending a decision after a hearing, will in some measure restore that confidence, in a spirit of good faith and cooperation with the … commission, I will not challenge that temporary suspension, and I look with the greatest anticipation to my chance to be heard.”