James McKenzie, a Rhea County General Sessions Court judge, was publicly reprimanded in a recent letter for a comment he made from the bench and for using inappropriate language in a separate incident.
The reprimand letter from the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct states that, on Dec. 12, 2012, McKenzie commented “concerning your belief that one of the attorneys who appears in your court must be having a sexual relationship with another attorney who appears before you.”
In the second incident, on Nov. 20, 2012, McKenzie used “inappropriate language” in talking to the spouse of a court employee who had taken a leave of absence and “whom you perceived had a personal issue with you,” the letter states. “At this time, you used inappropriate language in inquiring about the court employee’s potential problem.”
The letter noted that the language was delivered in “an abrasive manner.”
A notice of the reprimand sent to the speakers of Tennessee’s House and Senate noted that McKenzie had received a prior public reprimand on Dec. 3, 2010.