Federal judge reviews recusal request

Calvin Ellis, seen here in a February 2011 interview, was terminated as choral director and teacher at Tupelo High School. (WTVA)
Calvin Ellis, seen here in a February 2011 interview, was terminated as choral director and teacher at Tupelo High School. (WTVA)
Reported by: Mel Carlock
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Updated: 5/16/2013 3:06 pm
ABERDEEN, Miss. (WTVA) -- A federal court judge is reviewing a motion to recuse herself from Calvin Ellis' lawsuit against the Tupelo Public School District.

Judge Sharion Aycock held a hearing on the motion in U. S. District Court in Aberdeen Thursday morning.

Ellis' attorney says Judge Aycock is a cousin of the husband of Elizabeth Stone, a member of the school board at the time of Ellis' termination.

He says Stone could be called to testify in the case.

He also says the judge at one time was the school board attorney for the Itawamba County School District.

In the filing, David Butts says while he does not question whether the court would be impartial, the facts could lead a "reasonable man" to harbor doubts.

Ellis was terminated as the choral director at Tupelo High School in October of 2011 after school officials say they received 23 complaints.

The termination was upheld following an appeal hearing in March of 2012.

He claims the termination violated his contract and his due process rights were violated.

Ellis currently works for a school in Alabama.
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