High court names judge to hear supervisor’s disorderly conduct appeal

Published 5:52 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Harrison County judge has been appointed to hear the appeal of Frank Leach, a Jackson County supervisor convicted of disorderly conduct after a scuffle with police.

According to Jackson County court records, the state Supreme Court appointed Harrison County Judge Robin Midcalf to preside over the new trial. No date has been set.

Midcalf, a former Harrison County Supervisor, was elected to serve as Harrison County Court judge in 1997.

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Midcalf’s appointment came after Jackson County judges Larry Wilson and Sharon Sigalis recused themselves from the case, citing a potential conflict of interest.

Leach was arrested Oct. 5, 2006, after a run-in with Ocean Springs Police Officer Bob Lewis at the Cruisin’ the Coast event, a car show that takes place in the city.

A confrontation occurred after Leach repeatedly asked Lewis to shut down northbound traffic along Washington Avenue as the city and Cruisin’ officials had planned.

When Lewis refused, witnesses said Leach raised his voice, continuing to order Lewis to call his supervisor.

According to reports, the confrontation continued until Lewis told Leach to stop talking to him like a child. A struggle followed with four police officers wrangling with Leach until they were able to handcuff him.

In February, Special Prosecutor Eugene Henry found Leach guilty of disorderly conduct and ordered him to pay a $235 fine. He was found innocent of the misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest.

As a result, Leach is only appealing the remaining disorderly conduct charge.