Former District 4 Supervisor Karl Banks.
Former District 4 Supervisor Karl Banks.

Former District 4 Supervisor Karl Banks has asked the special judge assigned to his election contest to recuse himself from the case because he has attended events held by the Republican Party over the years. 

Banks, a Democrat, filed a motion for recusal on May 31 and claimed that Special Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City has spoken at Republican events in the past and therefore gives the appearance of impropriety.

“Within the last thirty (30) days, it has been brought to (our) attention that your Honor has attended Republican gathering and given speeches at events for the Republican Party, while presiding over legal proceedings as a special judge…,” the motion states. “(Banks) believes that a reasonable person might question your Honor’s impartiality in this matter because your Honor has attended such political gatherings.”

The motion states that according to the Code of Judicial Conduct, judges are not allowed to make speeches for a political organization or candidate. 

Included in the motion were screenshots taken from Facebook posts and news articles that show Lackey attended events in Calhoun County, Union County, Lee County and Chickasaw County in 2014 and 2015, all of which were before being assigned to Banks’ contest.

Banks, a Democrat who served 32 years as supervisor, lost to David Bishop, a Republican, in November 2015. In contesting the election, he claims votes were not included in the final count. 

Bishop is represented by Jim Herring, former chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party, and Cory Wilson, a Republican state representative.