Tag Archives: cocke

Cocke Sheriff Posts Ten Commandmens, Joining 24 Others

Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes placed the Ten Commandments on display in the county’s courthouse Monday, reports WBIR-TV, after becoming the 25th sheriff in Tennessee to request copies of the commandments – along with copies of the Constitution and the bill of rights — from conservative activist June Griffin of Dayton.
Griffin donates the framed display in order to circumvent any argument that taxpayer dollars have been utilized to purchase the religious document. The 25 requests from various sheriffs started in March of this year. That is when Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a law that permits cities and counties to display the Ten Commandments as a historical document alongside other historical documents.
Unlike many other counties, Cocke County never had to remove the Ten Commandments from its courthouse. In fact, this is the first time the religious document has ever been displayed there.
“To my knowledge, they [the Ten Commandments] have never been anywhere in the courthouse,” said Fontes. “The separation of church and state is to keep the government from interfering and coercing people into one specific belief. Simply posting something does not coerce someone into one specific belief.”

Supremes Confirm Suspension of Cocke County Judge

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Supreme Court today upheld the Court of the Judiciary’s decision that Cocke County General Sessions Court Judge John A. Bell violated the Code of Judicial Conduct for taking too long to decide a personal injury case and participating in an ex parte communication. The high court also affirmed the Court of the Judiciary’s sanctions against Bell, which included a 90-day suspension.
The Court of Judiciary’s disciplinary action came as a result of a complaint from David Pleau, who filed a lawsuit in Bell’s court following a car accident with an uninsured motorist. Pleau, who was acting pro se, named his insurance carrier but not the uninsured motorist in the suit. Merastar Insurance Company, Pleau’s insurance carrier, filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. At the end of the hearing, Bell said he would issue his decision in a week.

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