Group alleges problems in DeSoto County's court system

By Chip Washington - bio | email

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - A grassroots organization protested Wednesday what it calls problems within DeSoto County's court system.

Members of Citizens for Legal Reform were easy to spot in their orange shirts as they set up camp at the DeSoto County Courthouse.  They posted signs and carried clipboards with petitions for people to sign, with a goal to right what they say are problems within the county's courts.

Organizer Holly McKnight said members are urging the Attorney General and the FBI to investigate.

"Every time I came to court something didn't feel right, something didn't smell right, and then I talked with the other individuals on our website, which has gotten 12,000 hits," she said.

The website,, helps members communicate with others who have the same concerns.  McKnight said the effort began a month ago and already has 250 of the 1000 signatures needed for the Attorney General to launch an investigate.

M. Everett Banks signed the petition.

"We are supposed to be transparent," he said. "We don't have anything to hide, and if we're transparent it shouldn't be hard for us to sign or say certain things."

Lloyd Chism dealt with the DeSoto County court system for several years.

"We're hoping that people will come out of the closet and talk about their's time for things to be right in DeSoto County," he said.

A spokesperson for the DeSoto County Chancery Court declined to comment for this story.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.