MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com)--Local 24 News has new information on Shelby County judges not showing up for work - and you paid for it.
We are talking about the General Sessions Civil Court judges. Records show some missed 60, 70 and even 90 sessions last year. But what what do the numbers show over a period of several years?
You would think during this election year some of the General Sessions Civil Court judges would want to explain why they missed so many days of work, but so far, no one is talking.
"That's not a good thing."
That's what London Lamar and other taxpayers are saying about the number of sessions missed by those judges last year.
According to records, last year, Judge Betty Thomas Moore missed 92 sessions of court. That's about 21% of the work year or about 10 weeks.
Judge Phyllis Gardner missed 69 sessions, Judge Lonnie Thompson 61, Judge John Donald 48, Judge Deborah Henderson 31 and Judge Lynn Cobb missed just 24.
"If they missed that many days, I don't think I will vote for them. 90 days, no," said Thomas Davis.
While a judge may have a reason for missing so many days in one year, what about over a longer period of time? Say four years or half of the judges term.
Judge Betty Thomas Moore missed 92 sessions last year. Her four year average was 71. Judge Phyllis Gardner missed 69 sessions last year compared to 73 over four years. Judge Lonnie Thompson missed 61 sessions last year compared to 69. Judge John Donald missed 48 sessions last year compared to a four year average of 50 days. Judge Lynn Cobb missed just 24 sessions last year. His four year average jumps up to 46. And lastly, Judge Deborah Henderson missed 31 sessions last year, but over four years, that drops to 20.
"It's important to keep in mind lawyers and judges are people too just like anyone else," said attorney Carl King.
Keep in mind, the time off doesn't include the week courts are closed for a conference in Destin, Florida, the two weeks the courts are closed during the holidays and the regular federal, state and county holidays. That's all in addition to the sessions they missed.
We asked all the General Sessions Civil judges for an interview. No one wants to talk.
Just to be clear, these are the General Sessions Civil Court judges and not the General Sessions Criminal Court judges. The Criminal Court judges missed very few days compared to those at civil court.