Bell blasts board for dropping complaint

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A powerful state senator has written a letter excoriating the board that disciplines judges for dismissing an ethics complaint against the chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Senator Mike Bell’s letter to Board of Judicial Conduct Chair Chris Craft comes in the midst of a campaign to unseat three members of the Tennessee Supreme Court who are up for election in August. In the letter that was sent Tuesday, Bell acknowledges that he was the one who lodged an unofficial complaint to the board that prompted an investigation of Chief Justice Gary Wade.

The Riceville Republican wanted Wade disciplined for allegedly violating rules about judges lobbying and campaigning after the justice was interviewed in the media defending the work of three appellate judges. Wade stands by his media remarks.