Legal Ethics

Embattled Judge Refuses to Recuse Himself From Hearing Cases

An embattled Tennessee judge facing ethics charges refused Wednesday to recuse himself from hearing cases until the charges against him are resolved.

Hawkins County, Tenn., Judge James “Jay” Taylor is accused (PDF) of converting money from a client for his own use, pocketing money he collected for a Ten Commandments display, billing the state for legal work he didn’t do and billing the state for legal work in cases he judged.

Taylor, who denies any wrongdoing, was essentially asked to step down Wednesday by representatives from the state Attorney General’s Office and the state’s Public Defender’s Office,.the Kingsport Times-News Online reports.

But the judge refused, citing the advice of state officials.

Taylor also reiterated his claim of innocence. “As previously stated, I deny any wrongdoing in these matters, and I intend to work with the Court of Judiciary to clear my good name,” he said.

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