Bradley County General Sessions Judge Sheridan Randolph has been publicly reprimanded for holding a hearing and setting bail for suspect in a burglary of the judge's own office.
The Tennessee Court of the Judiciary released the reprimand Tuesday, saying that Randolph had violated the Code of Judicial Conduct, which states that judges must recuse themselves in cases where their impartiality may be questioned.
According to Times Free Press archives, Randolph's North Ocoee Street office was burglarized sometime between Aug. 11 and Sept. 6, 2011. Several items were taken, including antique firearms.
Cleveland police arrested David Copeland and Gary Looper on burglary charges.
On Sept. 23, the complaint states, Randolph received information that Gregory Workman, of Cleveland, had been involved in the burglary, and he issued an arrest warrant for Workman.
Workman was arrested the next day and brought before Randolph for a hearing on Sept. 26, court documents show.
The reprimand from the Court of the Judiciary notes that when a complaint was filed, "you promptly responded and admitted that you had in fact held the hearing and realized it was error for you to do so."
The reprimand noted that holding the hearing violated Canon 2A, requiring judges to "comply with the law and act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary."
For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.