Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk Glenn Hamilton’s court date for a pair of misdemeanors stemming from a late June arrest has been pushed to November.
Clay County Justice Court Judge Chris McBrayer on Thursday granted a continuance in Hamilton’s case to Nov. 10.
Hamilton, 60, was arrested in north Clay County on June 20 for misdemeanor trespassing and misdemeanor possession of Native American artifacts, as well as for felony possession of methamphetamine. Clay County deputies also arrested 59-year-old Rufus Edward Lewis on the same charges.
Columbus attorney Rod Ray, who represents Hamilton, told The Dispatch on Thursday that he requested Hamilton’s case be pushed back so the felony charge could go before a Clay County grand jury in October.
“We’re still investigating,” Ray said. “There’s no discovery in justice court, so we’re having to do that on our own. Also, we can’t defend the case with an associated felony until that part moves forward.”
Ray said he’s still awaiting results from the state crime lab to determine if Hamilton possessed methamphetamine, and if he had enough for a felony charge.
Possession of less than .1 gram of methamphetamine is misdemeanor, while having more of the drug is a felony.
According to Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scoot, Hamilton had methamphetamine on his person while a container of the drug was allegedly found on the ground near Lewis.
Hamilton was not present in justice court Thursday morning.
Last week, Ray issued a statement saying that Hamilton was taking a leave of absence from his duties as circuit court clerk.
It’s unclear if Hamilton will be paid for his time out of the office. County Administrator Emily Garrard said Thursday afternoon that she’s not sure if Hamilton will be paid, in part because a portion of his pay is derived from fees his office collects.
Tom Chain, director of technical assistance for the State Auditor’s Office, said Hamilton’s office will continue to collect fees while he’s out. He said some of that money could theoretically reach Hamilton, depending on what type of fees are collected.
“He doesn’t get anything for not performing a service,” Chain said. “His office has to perform it. As long as is office is physically performing that service, those fees will be collected.”
It is also unclear when Hamilton’s leave officially began or how long it will last.
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.
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