Senators Plan Hearing on Handling of Ethics Complaint

State Sens. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, and Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, announced today that the Senate Government Operations Committee will hold a formal inquiry “sometime this month” into the Board of Judicial Conduct’s decision to dismiss a complaint against Chief Justice Gary Wade. That anonymous complaint questioned whether Wade broke ethics rules by commenting on judges subject to review by the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission. After the board dismissed the complaint, Bell came forward as the source of the complaint. Bell and McNally also said today they may also take up issues associated with the composition of the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission. A Davidson County judge ruled earlier this year that the commission’s makeup was illegal because it did not reflect the diversity of the state. The Tennessean has more.