Boone faces public reprimand Tuesday

Published 9:26 pm Monday, May 23, 2011

Lincoln County Post One Justice Court Judge Ralph Boone isscheduled to be publicly reprimanded Tuesday at 9 a.m. in LincolnCounty Circuit Court, senior Circuit Court Judge Mike Taylor saidMonday.

The public reprimand was ordered as part of an April 28Mississippi Supreme Court ruling against the first-term judge overimproper conduct involving a litigant before his court in April2009. Boone was also to be suspended without pay for 90 days andordered to pay court costs.

Circuit Court Judge David Strong will administer the reprimand,Taylor said.

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Taylor said the court order mandated that the reprimand be givenduring the first circuit court term with a jury panel present afterthe supreme court order becomes final. Strong’s court term startsTuesday.

“The court entered its opinion and it became final Thursday,”Taylor said Monday afternoon.

An attempt to reach Boone later Monday was not successful. Boonehas maintained his innocence throughout the incident.

“I want the people of Lincoln County to know that I have neverlet them down,” Boone said as part of a statement after the Aprilhigh court ruling.

The supreme court’s ruling followed a Mississippi Commission onJudicial Performance hearing in which the agency recommended Boonebe removed from office. However, justices were not in agreementregarding allegations that Boone made sexual advances involving afemale litigant, who had appeared before him in court on a publicdrunkenness charge, in exchange for a reduction in the fine.

The justices, though, did find that Boone had improper contactwith the defendant and law enforcement personnel outside of hiscourtroom.

“Judge Boone’s actions constituted willful misconductprejudicial to the administration of justice which brought thejudicial office into disrepute,” the court said in a 25-page rulingin the case.