Sunday, May 28, 2017

TN: News Channel 5 Investigates: Who's Judging the Judges?

When it comes to allegations of misconduct inside the courtroom, who's judging the judges?

That's the question raised by a NewsChannel 5 investigation into a Nashville judge who's repeatedly late for court.

"I don't feel that it was investigated," said White Bluff resident Tommy Craig.

As a self-employed maintenance man, Craig knows the importance of showing up to work on time.

"I have to be there when I say I'll be there," Craig said, noting that if he doesn't show up "they'll get someone else."

Judge Rachel Bell
But when Craig went to court for a 9 a.m. hearing on a contract dispute last year, he says the judge, Rachel Bell, didn't even show up until 10:30 a.m.

And, right in the middle of his testimony, "She excused me from the witness stand and took a picture with a high school class from Whites Creeks High School."

A bit later, the Davidson County General Sessions judge decided to take another break.

"She announced she was going to take a 15-minute break and didn't come back for an hour and five minutes," Craig said. "We were sitting in the courtroom starving to death. It was almost like a joke."

In fact, a NewsChannel 5 hidden-camera investigation recently showed people waiting inside Bell's courtroom for hours, with the judge not even leaving her house until well over an hour after court was scheduled to start.

Bell blamed her diabetes and a thyroid condition, arguing the Americans with Disabilities Act allows her to adjust her schedule.

"I'm going to need ADA accommodations for the rest of my life until there is a cure," she said.

Full Article, Video, and Source:
News Channel 5 Investigates:  Who's Judging the Judges?

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