Tennessee Court of the Judiciary publicly reprimanded Judge Robert Moon on three separate complaints, including that he didn't allow a defendant to receive proper counsel in his courtroom.
In a recent statement, the court reprimanded Moon for violating Canon 2A which requires that "a judge shall respect and comply with the law and shall act at all times in the manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary."
Moon responded to the Court of the Judiciary's Jan. 3 reprimand today.
"Although, there is a respectful, but definitive, difference of opinion in the interpretation and applicablity of the law and legal opinions relevant to these issues, the Court of the Judiciary is there to assist us and to make us better judges," Moon said in a statement.
Three separate complaints were made against Moon and since the disciplinary counsel notified him, he has taken remedial steps to try and insure all defendants are appointed counsel in the General Sessions Courts in Hamilton County, the reprimand states.
Another complaint, filed by Judge Rebecca Stern, says Moon also threatened a young woman who was a victim/witness of domestic assault and reluctant to talk, the reprimand states. In his courtroom, Moon threatened to have the woman handcuffed and arrested if she didn't testify in a manner he considered truthful.
"The prosecutor repeatedly demanded that I require the witness to testify, and she repeatedly refused," Moon said in his statement. "Unless there is some privilege or impropriety in the question, every witness is required to answer the questions asked.
"Here there was no privilege nor objection to the question. If judges do not appropriately require witnesses to testify, then many serious cases, especially domestic violence cases, will be dismissed and victims will remain at risk," he said. "Justice can only prevail when witnesses testify truthfully."
For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.