Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern confirmed this morning that she filed an ethics complaint against two local General Sessions Court judges, David Bales and Bob Moon, and said it concerned their involvement in local politics.
Stern said while her initial complaint, which she said she filed in December, did not concern the two judges’ involvement in the selection of the next Hamilton County mayor, she said she called the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary and informed them about those alleged actions as well.
“I was hearing they were calling up and putting pressure on county commissioners to vote their way,” Stern said.
The Tennessee Code of Judicial Conduct forbids judges from engaging in certain political activities. For example, judges cannot publicly endorse candidates but can make their views known privately to others.
Mike Carter, special assistant to County Mayor Claude Ramsey, had earlier alleged that Bales and Moon were actively campaigning against him.
Moon said Wednesday he had spoken with commissioners about the mayoral selection, but he does not feel he violated judicial ethics. He said he did not know about the complaint.
On Thursday, he said he will not comment further "unless and until" he receives the "complaint allegedly filed."
"It is difficult to comment, much less defend, allegations about a complaint that one has never seen."
Efforts to reach Bales have been unsuccessful.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.
Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...