Judge in Usher custody case answers questions about alleged bias - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Judge in Usher custody case answers Tough Questions about alleged bias

Posted: Updated:
(Usher Photo Source: AP) (Usher Photo Source: AP)
  • More newsMore>>

  • Family of slain USA student Gil Collar loses home in house fire

    Family of slain USA student Gil Collar loses home in house fire

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:04 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:04:13 GMT
    The family of Gil Collar, the University of South Alabama student who was shot and killed on campus in October of 2012, are picking up the pieces after losing their home in a house fire.More >>
    The family of Gil Collar, the University of South Alabama student who was shot and killed on campus in October of 2012, are picking up the pieces after losing their home in a house fire.More >>
  • Israeli children return to school after Gaza war

    Israeli children return to school after Gaza war

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:19 AM EDT2014-09-01 13:19:31 GMT
    Thousands of Israeli children in areas near the Gaza Strip went back to school Monday after spending the summer in bomb shelters as rockets and mortars rained on their communities during the 50-day Israel-Hamas...More >>
    Thousands of Israeli children in areas near the Gaza Strip went back to school Monday after spending the summer in bomb shelters as rockets and mortars rained on their communities during the 50-day Israel-Hamas war, while...More >>
  • Casting call held in Opelika

    Casting call held in Opelika

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:09 AM EDT2014-09-01 13:09:25 GMT
    Opelikans of all ages came out to audition for the movie "White Water" on Sunday.           "I've been acting at a lot at school and home and at my church too. Really getting ready for things I wouldMore >>
    Opelikans of all ages came out to audition for the movie "White Water" on Sunday.           "I've been acting at a lot at school and home and at my church too. Really getting ready for things I wouldMore >>
FULTON COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane denied that her ruling to give multiple Grammy-winning singer Usher Raymond custody of his sons was influenced by his high-profile attorney John Mayoue. When questioned recently by CBS Atlanta News, Lane described their relationship as a typical attorney-lawyer relationship.

But Lane has not been forthcoming about what role Mayoue actually played, if any, on her 2008 election campaign committee.

According to campaign finance records, Mayoue's firm donated $1,000 and hosted her only fundraiser that year, raising 83 percent of the funds in Lane's campaign coffers.

Attorney Lisa West said that's "significant."  West represents Tameka Raymond, Usher's ex-wife.

West said she learned of Mayoue's contributions shortly after Lane's ruling and quickly asked Lane for a new trial and for her to recuse herself from it.

Lane eventually recused herself from the Raymond case in December after repeatedly refusing to do so earlier in the year.

Clark Cunningham, professor at Georgia State University College of Law, said, "Even if Judge Lane sincerely believes that Mayoue's involvement in her campaign did not affect her decision making, she still had an obligation under judicial code to put that information on the record."

Cunningham said he's troubled by some of Lane's orders, specifically those in which she refuses to step down from the case after being asked by West.

In one order, Lane wrote that West didn't provide enough "evidence" that Mayoue served on her reelection committee. 

Cunningham said Lane should know whether Mayoue was or wasn't on her campaign committee and be forthcoming with that information. 

He said Lane's orders do not help instill confidence in the judicial system. 

When Lane recused herself from the Raymond case, she did so less than 24 hours after West filed a motion to "preserve" computers allegedly used in Lane's 2008 campaign.

The computers were owned by Lane's recently deceased sister. 

West said Lane's sudden decision tells her that Lane doesn't want what's in those computers made public. 

When questioned about those computers by CBS Atlanta News, Lane said they are her "personal privacy." 

In her recusal order, Lane reasoned that she cannot fairly hear cases involving West.

Since then West has taken on several new clients who want their divorces or custody cases removed from Lane's courtroom. West has had Lane successfully recused from 9 cases. 

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow