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September 1, 2009

 
CHIEF MAGISTRATE IS “COMMITTED TO THE JOB”

 Anyone that sat through the candidate forums during the 2008 elections heard Ken Jackson, Magistrate Judge and candidate say, “I am committed to the job.”  He said it several times to reassure everyone that knew he was always out of the office that he would be there.  Yet, it wasn’t but a few days after he was re-elected that he was busy coaching basketball, and only a few months after being elected that there was another Associate Magistrate appointed to help him out with that “big case load” he has.

The new Associate Magistrate is City Councilman Bobby Jacobs, who is an exterminator by trade.  During the campaign Ken Jackson (and Clerk of Courts Dan Jordan) said over and over, you couldn’t have someone that could really do the job of Magistrate if they weren’t an attorney.  (Jackson’s opponent was a legal secretary, but not a lawyer.)  Jackson said it would take his knowledge as an attorney to do the Magistrate job correctly.  Yet, Jackson doesn’t seem to holding court these days.  His “associates”, Judge Angela Steele and Judge Bobby Jacobs, seem to be rendering more and more decisions.  Could it be because Ken Jackson is out of town doing his “private law practice” work while being paid his Magistrate salary? 

 
The following shows, yes, he has been still doing the same old things even though he campaigned differently.  TWG has obtained these figures through open records:
        

Ken Jackson work in other counties

County

2008

at 7/31/2009 YTD

Jones

9,725

3,100

Greene

4,500

1,050

Putnam

3,100

1,700

Morgan

2,825

350

Baldwin

2,000

150

Jasper

2,275

1,400

   Totals

24,425

7,750

 
Judge Jackson is always busy doing something other than Magistrate work.  He can sign all the sheets of paper he wants that “certify” he works 40 hours a week; yet he can never prove it.  He refuses to turn in any kind of verification to back up the piece of paper.  Jackson can continue to get his friend, Clerk of Court Dan Jordan, to protest loudly, write his blogs, and say Jackson is working 40 hours and doing everything right.  The fact is Jackson is not working for the people of this county!  He is costing us all more money by not doing the job he was elected to do, instead he had more associates appointed to do his job for him. 

The Probate Judge has recently appointed Ken Jackson, “private attorney”, as the Defense Attorney for some indigent cases in Probate Court.  See cases here.

The citizens of Jasper County also pay for Ken Jackson to represent Juvenile Cases in Juvenile Court in Jasper County.  $1400 so far this year (see list above).  He represents all these people at Jasper County taxpayer’s expense during the day while also being paid as a Magistrate Judge.  No wonder he has to have others appointed to do his job for him.  Does he use the county offices, paper, computers, telephone, etc. to prepare for these cases as part of his “private law practice”?  All these things are fine and dandy and well within the law according to Clerk of Courts, Dan Jordan, the spokesman for the Magistrate.  Court cases show others have lost their positions for doing the same thing.

Next time the county has elections, remember how much the Clerk of Courts and the Magistrate cost you every month.
 

TWG
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