75
      Saturday
      82 / 67
      Sunday
      85 / 70
      Monday
      79 / 60

      Motion filed to disqualify judge in Gomery's case

      The former prosecutor accused of trying to hire a hit man will be in court again Thursday.

      The judge initially assigned to a murder solicitation case involving Clarence Gomery, has removed himself.

      Gomery's attorney, Frank Stanley, filed a motion to disqualify Judge Thomas Power in the case. The attorney cited a civil case involving Gomery that Power ruled on in 2013.

      Power presided over the civil case which involved Gomery, and the man he is accused of trying to have killed.

      Gomery lost that case and ended up facing $350,000 in sanctions.

      The motion hearing took place on Thursday. Gomery was not present in the courtroom for it. Stanley told the court that he chose not to be there because of the media attention that the case has received.

      "I do think that the specifics of the motive that proposed Mr. Gomery's behavior, which would be the sanctions, and inevitably we are going to get into the details, and me presiding as the judge would create difficulty with having a fair trial, so I am going to grant the motion of disqualifying," said Judge Power.

      Judge Philip Rodgers Jr, the other judge of the 13th circuit court in Grand Traverse County, will now be presiding over the case.

      Stanley, says he applauds judge Power's decision and said, "It was the appropriate decision."

      Prosecuting Attorney, Bob Cooney said that while he does not agree with the judge's decision to remove himself from the case, he respects it. Cooney added that this decision will not impact their case, only that there will be a different judge.

      Gomery is accused of trying to hire another man to kill attorney, Chris Cooke. Cooke represented the other person in the civil case that Gomery was involved in.

      Gomery is facing solicitation of murder charges.