published Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

10th Judicial District prosecutor Paul Rush faces public censure

Paul Rush
Paul Rush
Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A prosecutor in the 10th Judicial District of Bradley, McMinn, Monroe and Polk counties will receive a public censure on two ethics violations brought by the Board of Professional Responsibility, the disciplinary agency for Tennessee lawyers.

The three-member panel issued its decision today about allegations against Paul Rush, who has worked as a prosecutor in the 10th Judicial District since 2004.

Allegations against Rush stemmed from the capital murder trial of Michael Younger, who was the last of three defendants tried for murder in connection with the 1999 Valentine's Day triple slayings in Cleveland. The 2010 trial ended in a mistrial; Younger walked free.

The Board of Professional Responsibility found Rush violated a court order and Tennessee's Rules of Evidence when he asked a witness a question that the trial judge ordered not to be asked.

The panel also found that Rush failed to self report his conduct to the Board of Professional Responsibility, as ordered by the trial judge.

"Nothing prevented Mr. Rush from complying with Judge [Amy] Reedy's order. Mr. Rush could and should have self-reported," the panel wrote.

The third allegation, that Rush withheld information from the defense team, was dismissed, according to the panel.

The panel heard testimony on the complaints during a Sept. 9 hearing in Chattanooga.

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