***UPDATE 4:25 P.M.*** A former Columbia police officer who lost his job over shoving a prisoner tried to get his case dropped on Thursday. Rob Sanders and his lawyer attempted to get his case dismissed. They are basing their argument on the special prosecutor asking to be removed from the case. Prosecutor Mike Fusselman is requesting to recuse himself from the case and cites a conflict of interest. Fusselman would not disclose what the conflict is. Sanders' attorney received the letter from the prosecutor's office on Wednesday afternoon. In court Thursday, he argued that whatever the conflict is, it existed when the prosecutor filed the charges in August. The defense asked the judge to dismiss the case, but the judge did not grant it solely based on that document. After leaving court, Sanders and his attorney refused to comment on the case because of the pending motion. The prosecutor did not return calls to ABC 17 News. Sanders' next court appearance is scheduled for January 10th. ***ORIGINAL STORY*** Former Columbia police officer Rob Sanders will appear in a Boone County courtroom Thursday afternoon. Sanders is scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. The purpose of the hearing is to submit dates and discuss discovery issues. He is charged with misdemeanor assault in Boone County Circuit Court and accused of shoving a prisoner in a cell last year.