Hopefully the Shreveport voters will do what the Louisiana Judiciary Commission has failed to do – – remove Shreveport City Judge Sheva Sims from the Judicial bench. Myles qualified to run against Sims for Shreveport City Court, Division D; Sims is seeking re-elections after serving her first (partial) term on the bench.
Sims was elected as Shreveport City Judge in 2011, winning a close election against Shante’ Wells; she has previously conducted unsuccessful races for the Shreveport City Council.
Sims had a checkered legal career before her election to judgeship. As a practicing attorney, Sims was notorious for being late to court, and many attorneys reported that she was frequently ill-prepared for court cases.
As a sitting Judge, Sims has had her challenges, to say the least. On one occasion she dismissed over 15 pending criminal cases in a fit of rage over the failure of an assistant city attorney (allegedly) to be in court on time. During a stretch of several months, Sims reportedly adjourned afternoon court sessions for approximately an hour to pick up her children from school; she admonished court/marshal personnel over any mention of the reason for her absence from courtrooms full of defendants, witnesses and attorneys.
When sworn in as judge, Sims had one of the most elaborate ceremonies in recent memory with many speaker, fancy food from New Orleans and over the top pomp and circumstances. Word has it that those in the city court building who did not attend her soiree, – or at least pay sufficient homage to the new judge, – were reprimanded. Sims has not been reluctant to complain to supervisors of court personnel, including city attorney Terri Scott, about any (perceived) slights to her position or authority.
Last fall the Judiciary Commission reportedly opened an investigation into the antics of Judge Sims; depositions were taken in Shreveport of various court personnel. Thereafter the commission held a hearing on Judge Sims in New Orleans Court; court personnel were subpoenaed to testify, along with Shreveport City Marshal Charlie Caldwell. Reportedly, Caddo D.A. Charles Scott and Shreveport City Judge Lee Irwin also traveled to New Orleans to give testimony.
The results of the Commission’s investigation will not be made public; thus the scope and nature of the investigation is officially unknown.
The Commission has the authority to recommended to the Louisiana Supreme Court that judges be removed, and reportedly it actions have lead to the retirement/resignation of several local judges in the recent past. Most court observers are shocked that no public actions have been taken by the Louisiana Supreme Court against Sims.
Myles has earned high marks from all attorneys practicing in Shreveport City Court. His quiet demeanor, diligence in working files, and concern for improving the courts’ operations is a stark contrast to Judge Sims. Myles has 13 years (plus) as a prosecutor in City Court and prior to this he was a private practice for 7 years. He has been the City Court Chief prosecutor since 2002.
Although sitting judges are rarely challenged when they seek re-elections; most attorneys who have practiced before Judge Sims are delighted she has a meritorious opponent. It really is a surprise to most court observers that Sims still is in the black robes. The November 4 election may very well change that – – hopefully so for the integrity of Shreveport City Court.