Hawkins County judge charged with raising funds for display

Hawkins County judge charged with raising funds for display

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ROGERSVILLE (WATE) - Hawkins County Juvenile Court Judge James Taylor is facing charges.

The Tennessee Court of the Judiciary filed formal charges Tuesday against Judge Taylor. He is accused of fundraising and soliciting money to create a display including the Ten Commandments in the Hawkins County Justice Center.

6 News reported in July 2010 that Judge Taylor wanted to put up several framed historic documents and the Ten Commandments on a wall in the justice center.

However, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation called the effort unconstitutional and wrote a letter to county commissioners.     

According to the charges, Taylor appeared before Hawkins County Commission to gain approval for the display.

Judge Taylor was notified in October 2010 that his actions were under investigation by a Court of the Judiciary panel.

He released a statement Wednesday that says: "The Court of Judiciary and I disagree over what is an appropriate role for me to have in the Foundations of American Law and Government Display project for Hawkins County. Specifically, the Court of Judiciary has questioned whether I should have answered a question posed to me by a member of the Hawkins County Commission during a commission meeting last year. Although the Court of Judiciary and I may disagree over what is an appropriate role, as a member of the judiciary I do look forward to resolving this issue with them. Regardless of what role the Court of Judiciary ultimately decides is appropriate for me to have in the Foundations Display, I am proud of our community and it's interest in seeing the display made, and I am proud to be a part of it."

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