- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Hinds County Board of Supervisors is refusing to pay bills from five private lawyers appointed by Circuit Judge Jeff Weill to handle cases of indigent defendants.

Weill had assigned cases to the private attorneys during his dispute with the county public defender’s office. The bills from the private attorneys totaled $10,900.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (https://on.thec-l.com/1dHE1Zr ) board attorney Pieter Teeuwissen told supervisors Monday that he expects legal action to result from the appointments by Weill.

Last month, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled Weill doesn’t have authority to remove Assistant Hinds County Public Defender Alison Kelly from handling cases in his courtroom.

Weill and Kelly have been in an ongoing dispute, with Weill calling Kelly incompetent and alleging she had engaged in numerous acts of misconduct. The Public Defender’s office has denied Weill’s allegations.

The dispute escalated in March when Weill held two public defenders in contempt of court and fined each $100. They had objected to his decision to let a private attorney handle the arraignment of a defendant whose case the public defender’s office had been assigned to handle in a lower court.

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