Tennessee's Court of the Judiciary, which has disciplinary jurisdiction over judges in the state, has charged Davidson County General Sessions Judge Gloria Dumas with official misconduct.
The state's Administrative Office of the Courts announced the charges late Monday, although the court's disciplinary counsel, Joseph S. Daniel of Murfreesboro, had filed them on Sept. 21. The charging document is available at this link.
Dumas stands accused of "multiple violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct," the court filing said, describing the transgressions as "judicial offenses."
One count accuses her of employing her daughter in 2005 and 2006 as her court officer even though the unnamed daughter "had no experience or training for this position and this selection was made without competitive consideration of qualified applicants."
Another count charges Dumas with with being "persistently late in attending court sessions," while a third claims she has "consistently failed to attend her dockets and extensively used special judges to hold her dockets."
The court asserts that in 2008 and the first three months of 2009, Dumas appointed others to serve as special judges 45 times, frequently assigning an unidentified local attorney to handle to task. The dozen appointments this year, it says, "were made after notice to Judge Dumas that such appointments failed to meet state law and evidence intentional misconduct."
The legal action asks the court to impose unspecified "sanctions" on Dumas. Its hearing panel can punish judges through a range of measures, from a private reprimand up to recommending removal from office – an act requiring a two-thirds vote of Tennessee's General Assembly.
Reached at home last night, Dumas said she was not permitted to comment on the pending legal action.
First elected to her General Sessions position in 1998, Dumas won re-election for a second eight-year term in 2006.