Chief Justice makes appointments to Commission on Judicial Performance
January 8, 2021
Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph appointed Pearl River County Court Judge Richelle Lumpkin as a member of the Commission on Judicial Performance on Jan. 7. The Chief Justice appointed Rankin County Court Judge Kent McDaniel as an alternate member of the judicial disciplinary body.
House Speaker Philip Gunn recommended Judge Lumpkin as a member of the Commission and Judge McDaniel as an alternate member. Appointments are for six-year terms.
Judge Lumpkin and Judge McDaniel will trade places on the Commission. Judge McDaniel previously served for six years as a member of the Commission. Judge Lumpkin has served as an alternate member since March 16, 2016. An alternate member sits on a judicial disciplinary hearing panel when a member has a conflict or cannot otherwise participate.
Judge McDaniel currently serves as chairman of the Commission, a position to which he was elected by the Commission members on Feb. 9, 2018. The Commission is expected to select a new chairman in February.
The Commission on Judicial Performance investigates allegations of judicial misconduct and makes recommendations for discipline to the Supreme Court. The Commission includes seven members and seven alternates.
Judge McDaniel has served as a Rankin County Court Judge since September 1997, when he was appointed by Gov. Kirk Fordice. He has been elected to five terms. He previously served as chair of the Conference of County Court Judges. In addition to his leadership as chairman of the Commission on Judicial Performance, he served for a year as vice-chair of the Commission. He served as Flowood Municipal Judge from November 1995 until his appointment to the County Court bench. He served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi from 1989 to 1995. He returned to the private practice of law in 1995. He previously served as director of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy. He served with the 20th Special Forces Group (MSANG) from 1968-1973 and with the 112th MP Battalion (MSANG) from 1973-1978, leaving the service with the rank of First Lieutenant. He served as an adjunct faculty member at Mississippi College School of Law for 25 years, teaching trial practice. Judge McDaniel earned a Juris Doctor and a Doctor of Laws degree from Mississippi College School of Law.
Judge Lumpkin was elected as the first County Court Judge of Pearl River County in November 2010 and took office in January 2011. She has been elected three times. She previously served by appointment of the Chancery Court as Youth Court Referee for eight years. She was Municipal Judge for the City of Picayune for four years. She also served for eight years as Pearl River County prosecutor. She was in private law practice for 20 years. She is a former member of the Mississippi Board of Bar Commissioners. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Mississippi College School of Law.