- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The state board that investigates judicial misconduct has cleared Nashville General Sessions Judge Casey Moreland of allegations brought by another judge.

The Tennessean (https://tnne.ws/1StNcdN ) reports it obtained a letter from the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct that creates doubt about whether the incidents alleged in the complaint by Judge Melissa Blackburn ever happened.

“It was the unanimous decision of the investigative panel that the factual allegations in the complaint, which would have given rise to a potential violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, did not occur,” the board’s reads

The letter said the investigation included interviewing witnesses to the incident on Nov. 7, 2014. It said Moreland cooperated with the investigation and turned over relevant documents.

Blackburn, who was elected last year, wrote an email to other judge saying it was her duty to report the incident. In the email, she described Moreland as bullying women and throwing mattresses and papers in the mental health court offices.

“I do not understand why the complaint was filed or why the email was sent,” Moreland said. “Time will end up telling me why she did it. I’m just at a loss. Like the court of the judiciary unanimously said, it did not occur.”

Blackburn declined to comment, through a staffer, on the outcome of the investigation.

“Judge Blackburn reported the incident of November 7, 2014 in the mental health court offices to the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct as she is required to do,” an email statement from her office reads. “Judge Blackburn’s foremost concern was, and remains, to provide the staff of the veterans and mental health courts, particularly the women employed by the courts, a secure work environment.”

Moreland called himself an easy target at the time the complaint was filed. Just weeks earlier he was publicly reprimanded for intervening in a case and allowing a man accused of domestic violence to get out of jail early. The man, David Chase, was accused of abusing his ex-girlfriend a second time. However, those allegations were dropped last month because of issues with the woman’s credibility.

Moreland said he had not been contacted by Blackburn since the end of the investigation.

“She was obviously given bad information, and she acted on it,” Moreland said. “Hopefully with some experience on the bench, she’ll learn to filter some of the bad information we get every day.”


Information from: The Tennessean, https://www.tennessean.com

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