LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — State District Judge David Ritchie says he recused himself from former judge Greg Lyons' felony theft trial to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

The American Press reports Lyons is on trial for 13 counts of felony theft. The state attorney general is prosecuting the case.

In 2007, Lyons was charged with stealing from clients, although the attorney general has declined to say whether those six charges are included in the 13 on which Lyons is to be tried.

He is to stand trial in the 14th Judicial District, where he served as judge for 18 years before returning to private practice in 2001.

Lyons was scheduled to go to trial Sept. 24, but Ritchie recused himself in September and the case has been reset for Feb. 4, 2013.