With the fate of the state's enforcer of jurisprudence, the much-maligned and woefully opaque Court of the Judiciary, on the legislative operating table, a Hawkins County general sessions judge is stepping down after the CoJ actually did its job and filed charges against him earlier this year for being a corrupt asshole.
Judge James Taylor will resign his post as general sessions judge effective May 1 following revelations that Taylor used his perch to bilk clients out of roughly $9,000 for services he allegedly never performed. In response to the charges, Taylor pleaded the Fifth.
From A Feb. 27, 2012 KnoxNews article:
"He is a charlatan, and his charlatanry is about to come to an end," said Morristown lawyer Paul Whetstone, who represents two clients who have filed civil lawsuits alleging the judge took money or assets from them when he was their lawyer. "A sitting judge who opts to plead the privilege against self-incrimination should subordinate his ego to his position, and summon the courage to resign."
The judiciary court complaint alleges that Taylor stole $9,000 from a client, billed the state for services that he never performed, and kept money raised to pay for a public "Citizen's Heritage Display." That display was to include the Ten Commandments and was to have been placed in the courthouse lobby.
The Kingsport Times-News has reported that the false billing allegations surfaced during a TBI investigation of a complaint by a Hawkins County commissioner that money was offered for votes to appoint Taylor to the bench.