Rutherford County Circuit Court Judge Don Ash, who serves on the state Court of the Judiciary and last week completed a four-year term as its presiding judge, tells the Daily News Journal that that the panel is working responsibly but he has no problem with efforts to improve it.
“I think it’s important that we maintain the independence of the judiciary,” Ash said, “but it’s also important that the Legislature has a say in regaArd to the discipline process. So, I believe it’s important that both of those groups have input into the membership and the disciplinary functions and the rules about how the court operates.”
Retired Judge J.S. “Steve” Daniel isn’t quite as diplomatic.
Daniel calls efforts by the Legislature to change the scope and makeup of the court a “power” grab and possibly even an attempt to “sunset,” or end, the court, which he says isn’t so much a court as a judicial disciplinary commission.
“I think it’s basically the Legislature trying to take control over who makes these decisions,” said Daniel, who presided over the Court of the Judiciary from 1999 to 2004 and served as chief disciplinary counsel from 2007 to June 2010. “I think the court is operating as it should be.”
Davidson County General Sessions Court Judge Daniel B. Eisenstein has sued NewsChannel 5, claiming that stories by investigative reporter Phil Williams contained false and libelous reporting that damaged his reputation, according to the Tennessean.
Eisenstein accuses Williams of pursuing a vendetta against him after Eisenstein held a hearing to question a request from a Metro police captain to dismiss a parking ticket Williams received outside of Davidson County’s general sessions and criminal courts.
The judge says elements of Williams’ stories — such as assertions that Eisenstein is under an ethics investigation and used federal money to hire an unlicensed psychologist for the Davidson County Mental Health Court — are false.
“We do dispute the allegations that have been made,” said NewsChannel 5’s attorney Ronald Harris of Neal & Harwell. “NewsChannel 5 is not aware of anything that’s false or inaccurate in the news stories.”
Prior post HERE.