Judge Cancels Court
|Showing up uncharacteristically early for Thursday's
city court, Judge Terry Vann didn't stay long. The judge demanded that
city treasurer/recorder/court clerk, Debbie Cook be in the court room to
act as the court recorder. However Ms. Cook was out due to illness. The
judge then demanded that the mayor's secretary, Ms. Baker, contact Ms.
Cook and tell her that she must come to work. Ms. Baker called Ms. Cook
to convey the judge's request. Ms. Cook refused the judges request to
come in. The judge visibly upset by Ms. Cook's refusal then
canceled court. Reason unknown.
As court clerk, Ms. Cook has never personally attended city court as the recorder. That task is always preformed by one of the deputy clerks leaving Ms. Cook to manage the operations of her office. The deputy clerk was in the office and prepared to attend court as usual. No one at City Hall could explain the judge's decision to cancel court.
Judge Vann's actions would seem to be an escalation of the growing rift between himself and Ms. Cook. The judge attacked Ms. Cook's credibility as court clerk at the last council meeting.