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Judicial commissioner under investigation
Dec 16, 2005 12:00 am
December 15, 2005
A Wilson County judicial commissioner is under investigation by the district attorney's office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for alleged official misconduct.
District Attorney General Tommy Thompson confirmed Wednesday that Judicial Commissioner Wendell Granstaff is the target of an investigation for what Thompson described as "interfering with the judicial process."
"There is an investigation going on involving a judicial commissioner," Thompson said, later identifying the commissioner as Granstaff. "It's more official misconduct than anything. It has to do with interfering in the administration of the courts."
Judicial commissioners are legal lay persons charged with making decisions on issuing criminal warrants and summons at the request of law enforcement officers and residents.
The judicial commissioner system has already come under scrutiny in the past week. The county's two General Sessions Court judges issued an order Tuesday to keep one commissioner from issuing warrants sworn to by his wife, a Lebanon Police officer. The judges' order and espousal situation is unrelated to the Granstaff investigation, Thompson said.
Judicial commissioners are county employees. However, members of the Wilson County Commission's Judicial Committee met Monday but had no knowledge of the ongoing investigation.
"That sounds very serious to me," District 2 Commissioner Ken Holland said Wednesday afternoon. "I don't know anything about it. though it would be nice if we did."
Granstaff did not return a telephone call left with the county's Judicial Commissioner office. Judicial Committee Chairman Ross Averitt could not be reached for comment for this story.
Managing Editor Clint Brewer can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 13 or by e-mail at email@example.com.