FERGUSON, MO (KTVI)- The Missouri Supreme Court announced a major overhaul to Ferguson`s Municipal Court system in the wake of the scathing Department of Justice report. A different judge is taking over the case load. Meanwhile, the judge who had overseen cases has resigned.
The Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court calls the move here an “extraordinary action” but says it is needed. Starting Monday, Judge Roy Richter from the Missouri Court of Appeals will be transferred to the St. Louis County Circuit Court where he will hear all pending and future Ferguson Municipal Court cases. On the same day that change was announced, Ron Brockmeyer, the man who had been Ferguson`s Municipal Court judge for some time, resigned from his position.
The Department of Justice report was highly critical of Brockmeyer. It said he was a major revenue generator for the City of Ferguson, bringing in millions in fines and fees while at the same time dismissing tickets for himself and friends.
The high court said bringing in judge Richter will help restore public trust and confidence in Ferguson`s Municipal Court system and that the move will help ensure that the rights of all defendants are respected. The Department of Justice report criticized the municipal court system in Ferguson saying it unlawfully targeted African Americans for tickets and fines.
The Ferguson City Council met behind closed doors Monday night then did not comment on the court developments.
Governor Jay Nixon called the high court actions strong and appropriate and a solid step forward.
Richter will remain in charge of the court system here until further notice.