Archived Story

Young refuses judical recusal

Published 1:51pm Wednesday, March 20, 2013

By Ashley Vice, Staff Writer

Macon County Circuit Judge Tom Young denied a motion filed by the state attorney general’s office to have him disqualified from all future VictoryLand cases in a hearing held March 19.

“Judges insufficiently attuned to their judicial responsibilities might readily welcome a baseless request for disqualification as an escape from a difficult case, particularly in a state which selects its judges in partisan elections,” Young said in his ruling. “The disqualification decision must reflect not only the need to secure public confidence through proceedings that appear impartial, but also the need to prevent parties from too easily obtaining the disqualification of a judge, thereby manipulating the system for strategic reasons, perhaps to obtain a judge more to their liking.”

Young said he “had no choice” in the case, stating that there was no “valid legal reason” for his recusal.

Young filed the ruling after hearing arguments from both sides. He also granted a motion to combine hearings for the return of machines and money seized in the raid on VictoryLand and to stop the first warrant, but no date has been set for the hearing.

The attorney general’s office has not commented on whether it will appeal Young’s ruling.

Vice is managing editor for the Tallassee Tribune.