ROGERSVILLE — The Tennessee Court of the Judiciary (COJ), which polices sitting judges in Tennessee, announced Wednesday that a trial has been scheduled for Hawkins County Sessions Judge James “Jay” Taylor for April 25 a 9 a.m. at the Hawkins County Justice Center in Rogersville.
The COJ has the authority to impose civil penalties against sitting judges ranging from reprimand to suspension with pay.
The COJ can also recommend that the Tennessee General Assembly impeach a judge.
Taylor faces four theft charges levied by the COJ. Two pertain to alleged fraudulent pay claims he made to the state for representing clients who appeared in court while he was sitting on the bench. Another charge pertains to the alleged theft of more than $9,000 from a client, and the fourth charge pertains to alleged misappropriation of funds he raised from the public for the purpose of installing a display at the Justice Center including the Ten Commandments.
Taylor was appointed to the Sessions Judge seat in August following the death the previous May of Judge David Brand. Taylor was defeated in the March 6 Republican primary and will be leaving the bench at the end of August.
Taylor also faces a criminal investigation regarding allegations of bribery of at least one Hawkins County Commissioner during last year’s appointment process as well as several theft related charges levied last month by the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, which has the authority to revoke law licenses.