Judges Under Investigation By Auditor, Attorney General

All three judges, Tom Teel, Wes Teel and J.N. Randall, are chancery court judges who hear cases in Harrison, Hancock and Stone Counties.

State Auditor Phil Bryant confirmed in a written statement that the judges are under investigation, but neither Bryant nor Attorney General Mike Moore will reveal the nature of the investigation.

The judges would also not comment, but they did release a statement saying, "We have met with the State Auditor's office. We are cooperating in every way. We appreciate the professionalism of the Auditor's office, and look forward to resolving the matter."

Harrison County Chancery Clerk John McAdams says, "As the county auditor and treasurer, I can assure people that the money in question is not county tax dollars. The state allocates each judge $40,000 a year for support services for their court. The judges pool the money together and each county helps them with their support staff. They buy supplies for their offices and support staff and the money goes towards travel and office expenses."

Bryant and Moore, other than confirming the investigation, say they won't make any other comments so that "the integrity of the investigation can be protected."

According to a spokesperson for the Administrative Office of Courts in Jackson, the Code of Judicial conduct prevents judges and their staffs from commenting on any matter that is or could come before any of the courts in the state.