Still no trial date set for Adams County circuit clerk

Published 6:36 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A trial date still has not been scheduled for Adams County Circuit Clark M.L. “Binkey” Vines. even though more than six weeks have past since a hearing in the case.

The state attorney general’s office, which is prosecuting the case, said the trial date was not set at the Jan. 12 discovery hearing because of scheduling conflicts.

A county grand jury indicted Vines in September on 13 counts of embezzlement involving the handling of $228,760 over the 2002-2003 fiscal year. A 2003 audit found understated fees and a lack of documentation in the circuit clerk’s office, prosecutors said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Vines pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

Judge Joe Webster of Coahoma County, who is presiding over the hearings, confirmed there was still no trial date but declined to discuss the matter. Both circuit judges in the county recused themselves from Vines’ case because of potential conflicts of interest.

If convicted of embezzlement, a felony, Vines would have to leave his office.

Vines has qualified to run for circuit clerk again in the November county elections.

City Clerk Donnie Holloway, who is one of Vines’ opponents for the county office, said he didn’t think the trial, or lack of one, would affect the race.

“I don’t see any factor in that,” Holloway said. “We won’t know until the votes are counted.”

Another candidate for circuit clerk, Wilbur Johnson, said he was somewhat surprised at the delay.

“I think it is something that needs to be considered that there’s a trial pending,” Johnson said.