Campbell County judge indicted on misconduct charges

JACKSBORO, Tenn. (AP) — A Campbell County judge has been indicted on four felony counts of official misconduct and temporarily suspended from performing judicial functions.

The Knoxville News Sentinel ( ) reports that a county grand jury indicted General Sessions Judge Amanda Sammons on Wednesday in connection with two cases in which she was accused of lying and misusing her authority. The Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct issued a temporary suspension order Wednesday evening.

Sammons’ lawyer, Wade Davies, said in a statement that Sammons is innocent and can show she hasn’t committed any offense. He said Sammons will plead not guilty.

Sammons is expected to be booked Thursday and arraigned next week.

UPDATE/NOTE: Related Tennessee Supreme Court news release below.

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts
Nashville, Tenn. ­– Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Sharon Lee has filed a standing order for substitute judges in light of the recent indictment and suspension of Campbell County General Sessions Judge Amanda Sammons.

Several judges from the 8th Judicial District will preside over cases initially scheduled to be heard by Judge Sammons.

According to the order, the chief “designates and assigns the following judges to exercise such jurisdiction, subject to the availability and consent of such judge:

•Honorable Elizabeth C. Asbury, Chancellor, 8th Judicial District
•Honorable John D. McAfee, Circuit Court Judge, 8th Judicial District
•Honorable E. Shayne Sexton, Criminal Court Judge, 8th Judicial District
•Honorable Robert M. Estep, General Sessions Judge, Claiborne County”

Judge Sammons was put on immediate interim suspension by the Board of Judicial Conduct August 10 after a Campbell County grand jury indicted her on four counts of official misconduct. The order will be in effect until revoked or modified by the chief justice.

In addition to the order by the chief justice, the Campbell County Commission may act to fill the seat until the case is resolved. According to state law, “In the event of an interim suspension of a general sessions court or juvenile court judge … the county legislative body shall appoint a temporary replacement to serve until the interim suspension is lifted or the office becomes vacant.”