Tennessee: Judge faces charges of wit...

Tennessee: Judge faces charges of witness tampering

There are 24 comments on the Chattanooga Times Free Press story from Oct 21, 2009, titled Tennessee: Judge faces charges of witness tampering. In it, Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that:

NEWPORT, Tenn. a ' A Cocke County Judge who recently settled a complaint before the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary is facing new charges of witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

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Since: Oct 09

Location hidden

#1 Oct 21, 2009
I would have thought that this forum would be blastin by now with public opinions! Where's everybody at?

Since: Mar 09

Sequatchie, TN

#2 Oct 22, 2009
redhead0110 wrote:
I would have thought that this forum would be blastin by now with public opinions! Where's everybody at?
Maybe it was a story that didn't get much attention due to everything else going on. Judge Bell is a decent man, I really hope he did not do anything wrong. If he did, then he must pay the price. The law, justice and integrity are more important than one man.

Zyk

“Fate is inexorable”

Since: Oct 09

Dandridge, TN

#3 Oct 22, 2009
Judge Bell is a pig. One of the remaining relics of an era when corruption was rampant and welcomed in Cocke County. I hope he is found guilty, has all authority stripped and is forced into obscurity, where he and his ilk belong.
Hello

Strawberry Plains, TN

#4 Oct 22, 2009
I heard something about it on the radio but didn't hear the news story. Saw an article in the paper but didn't bother to read it. Judge Bell is corrupt and everyone knows it. He should have been put out of office the last time charges were brought against him but like all the other corrupt beings in Cocke County he got out of it. And probably will again. He has stolen enough money to buy his way out of it.
ShameonJudgeBell

Lexington, KY

#5 Oct 22, 2009
All I got to say is,he enjoys the thought of taking kids out of the mothers home,(I am not talking about the parents that abuse and are cruel to there kids).But to tell you the truth he lets parents that have abused and neglected there children go back into the home.I could not affored a lawyer and at that time I was on unemployment and because my ex-husband had more of an income he granted my children to there father.Where there is verbal abuse.But let me tell all that are reading this.JUDGE BELL AND TOM TESTERMAN ARE BEST FRIENDS.This is no rumor it is the truth.They play golf together and if your ex-husband or wife is represented by Tom Testerman in Judge Bells court you might as well kiss your kids good-bye.And if you think this is BullSh*t then you will get a rude awakening.I got my cause out of Judge Bells court into Hoopers court and now I have custody of my Children.HE DESERVES WHAT IS COMING To him.LIKE THE OLD SAYING SAYS "YOU REAP WHAT YOU SEW".AND JUDGE BELL IT'S YOUR TIME TO SHINE BABY,LOL
ShameonJudgeBell

Lexington, KY

#6 Oct 24, 2009
Slowhand2009 wrote:
<quoted text>
Maybe it was a story that didn't get much attention due to everything else going on. Judge Bell is a decent man, I really hope he did not do anything wrong. If he did, then he must pay the price. The law, justice and integrity are more important than one man.
Judge Bell is not a descent man.If he was so descent why are all these charges against him.And by the way,the last time he went before the judisciary answering questions in court.HE PLEAD THE FIFTH,LOL.Now this is what we call a good man.LMAO
Realist in CC

United States

#7 Oct 28, 2009
redhead0110 wrote:
I would have thought that this forum would be blastin by now with public opinions! Where's everybody at?
The people in Cocke County get the officials they deserve. I am so befuddled as to why this poverty stricken county always votes Republican and elects crooks like Judge Bell time after time. If you aren't both Republican and religious, then you best keep quiet here. If you stick your head up on either issue, your life and property is at risk. Did you ever notice how candidates claim to be religious and God fearing when they run for office but end up being crooks at best? Judge Bell has hurt so many people in Cocke County but you are not going to find more than a handful who will speak out against him. Folks will simply say that he is a good Christian man.
catman

United States

#8 Oct 31, 2009
Slowhand2009 wrote:
<quoted text>
Maybe it was a story that didn't get much attention due to everything else going on. Judge Bell is a decent man, I really hope he did not do anything wrong. If he did, then he must pay the price. The law, justice and integrity are more important than one man.
well I for one find all these such good men of the Law are sh*t they soon wrong they only think they are the law but they are not think there are few in jail in Cocke county that are have no civil RIGHTS TO BE SAIDS JUDGE Ben Hooper so how can a so call good man of the ppl do so wrong and have the ppl belive these so call HERO!!!!!!!!!!
someone

United States

#9 Nov 30, 2009
ShameonJudgeBell wrote:
All I got to say is,he enjoys the thought of taking kids out of the mothers home,(I am not talking about the parents that abuse and are cruel to there kids).But to tell you the truth he lets parents that have abused and neglected there children go back into the home.I could not affored a lawyer and at that time I was on unemployment and because my ex-husband had more of an income he granted my children to there father.Where there is verbal abuse.But let me tell all that are reading this.JUDGE BELL AND TOM TESTERMAN ARE BEST FRIENDS.This is no rumor it is the truth.They play golf together and if your ex-husband or wife is represented by Tom Testerman in Judge Bells court you might as well kiss your kids good-bye.And if you think this is BullSh*t then you will get a rude awakening.I got my cause out of Judge Bells court into Hoopers court and now I have custody of my Children.HE DESERVES WHAT IS COMING To him.LIKE THE OLD SAYING SAYS "YOU REAP WHAT YOU SEW".AND JUDGE BELL IT'S YOUR TIME TO SHINE BABY,LOL
I also wwnt before Judge Bell in court without a lawyer and won.I'm sure he did what he thought was best.On the otherhand Judge Hooper is as corrupt as the come..why is nobody checking in on his past or present.All you have to do to win a hearing with Judge Hooper is sleep with him, so there is not much to that.
randomperson

Seymour, TN

#10 Nov 30, 2009
someone wrote:
<quoted text>I also wwnt before Judge Bell in court without a lawyer and won.I'm sure he did what he thought was best.On the otherhand Judge Hooper is as corrupt as the come..why is nobody checking in on his past or present.All you have to do to win a hearing with Judge Hooper is sleep with him, so there is not much to that.
And from what I hear all you got to do is pay off judge bell and he will let you go. Oh yeah, that's what all this is about.
Robert

Cleveland, OH

#11 Dec 5, 2009
There are those people out there that would like to have Judge Bell's job literally and have caused him much grief, such as Phil Owens and Dan Metcalf. I have been before Judge Bell myself and both won and lost a case, but I believe he was fair. I don't believe Judge Bell is as bad as he is made out to be, but he may not be perfect either. If he is innocent of these charges then he has been done a great injustice because it has cost him a small fortune to defend himself against his political enemys. If he is guilty it will come out in the end.
Hello

Strawberry Plains, TN

#12 Dec 6, 2009
ShameonJudgeBell wrote:
All I got to say is,he enjoys the thought of taking kids out of the mothers home,(I am not talking about the parents that abuse and are cruel to there kids).But to tell you the truth he lets parents that have abused and neglected there children go back into the home.I could not affored a lawyer and at that time I was on unemployment and because my ex-husband had more of an income he granted my children to there father.Where there is verbal abuse.But let me tell all that are reading this.JUDGE BELL AND TOM TESTERMAN ARE BEST FRIENDS.This is no rumor it is the truth.They play golf together and if your ex-husband or wife is represented by Tom Testerman in Judge Bells court you might as well kiss your kids good-bye.And if you think this is BullSh*t then you will get a rude awakening.I got my cause out of Judge Bells court into Hoopers court and now I have custody of my Children.HE DESERVES WHAT IS COMING To him.LIKE THE OLD SAYING SAYS "YOU REAP WHAT YOU SEW".AND JUDGE BELL IT'S YOUR TIME TO SHINE BABY,LOL
If the father had a job and you didn't then of course he will grant custody to the father. It's not right that the mother always gets custody and the father gets one or two days a month. Sometimes the father would be better for the kids.

I have heard of one or two cases where kids were taken from a home for no reason. Usually some busy body reporting something that isn't true. But most times if DCS removes a kid from a home there is a reason.
Judge Bell is GOOD

Clinton, TN

#13 Jan 21, 2010
I wish people would leave Judge Bell alone. Since he has been judge Newport has been a better and more safe place to live. I guess some idiots would like things to go back to the "good ole days" when people like Marcus Mooneyham and Phil Owens was letting crooks walk, drugs cover the streets, and sex for freedom was running this town. We should be thankful that we have a judge like this in our community. The people spoke in the last election. People spoke and said that they were happy that corrupt was no longer allowed to be an adjective that describes Newport. We have a judge that has morals and values. People need to think of him and his family. LEAVE HIM ALONE! Oh and while I'm at it the drop out rate and dropped and kids are graduating finally. Did this happen under Marcus Mooneyham. Do we really won't someone like him and a Cocaine sniffing weezel back in our government, I don't think so.....
Sanford

Morristown, TN

#14 Feb 17, 2010
I think he really tries. I understand he dont do everything right but who does. None of us do.
notfittojudge

Knoxville, TN

#15 Jun 2, 2010
Newspaper Article, The Oak Ridger, 4 May 2000. Fleeing judge checks himself into psychiatric hospital The Associated Press NEWPORT -- A Cocke County judge accused of ransacking the county executive's office, then fleeing a psychiatric hospital and eluding a traffic stop, has checked himself in to a private mental health facility, a colleague says. Circuit Judge Ben Hooper II "is not a fugitive, but a sick man who is seeking help for his problems," fellow Fourth Circuit Judge Richard Vance said today. Police reportedly didn't know Hooper's whereabouts late Wednesday. But Vance said Hooper voluntarily checked himself in at an undisclosed private psychiatric hospital on Tuesday. "Ben is getting the help he needs," Vance said. Vance added that the Hooper has been his friend 35 years and that "the events ascribed to him are totally out of character for him. I am very concerned for his health." Hooper, 60, was charged with destruction of county property and public intoxication after the incident at County Executive Charles Lewis Moore's office on Monday. Police escorted him off the property, and he later waited at the Cocke County Jail while the warrants were filled out. But he left with his son, lawyer Ben Hooper III, before they could be served. Friends then took Hooper to Peninsula Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Louisville, Tenn., but he left after popping the lock off a door shortly before midnight Monday. Hooper was with his son and former Circuit Court Judge J. Kenneth Porter when Deputy Marty Widener of the Blount County Sheriff's Department pulled them over early Tuesday morning after hearing from dispatchers about the incident at the hospital, authorities said. On a video recorded from the deputy's car, Hooper's son is heard trying to explain his father's actions. He said his father, who has struggled with a drinking problem for years, had been on a three-day drinking binge and desperately needed intervention. "Well, he's going to jail in just a second, I can tell you that," Widener shot back. Hooper's son said his father left the hospital because, at one point, an unidentified man began laughing at him, and he believed he was being ridiculed. The deputy called for backup, and they let the men go after discussing Hooper's legal options with his son. Blount County Sheriff James Berrong said the deputies made the right decision in letting Hooper go because hospital officials had not indicated whether they wanted to press charges. He said the deputies had no way of knowing about the warrants from Cocke County because it sometimes takes up to a day for such records to be entered into the National Crime Information Center's computer system. Police say Hooper admitted he had vandalized Moore's office in a profanity-laced call to 911 dispatchers. The two had several arguments over political issues. "You know I hate him," Hooper told the dispatcher. "I absolutely ... hate him. I told him so, and I tore his office all to hell." Said Assistant Newport Police Chief Clay Webb: "We'll find him when we get time to serve our warrants. If he's in the hospital or rehab somewhere, there's nothing we can do." Webb stressed that Hooper is facing only misdemeanor charges, saying, "We don't put people in jail on misdemeanor warrants. He will be booked and processed just like anybody else." Hooper, grandson of the late Gov. Ben Hooper, was a Republican state senator from 1975 to 1983. He was appointed to the bench in 1993.
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HowLongAgo

Grandview, TN

#16 Jun 2, 2010
notfittojudge wrote:
Newspaper Article, The Oak Ridger, 4 May 2000. Fleeing judge checks himself into psychiatric hospital The Associated Press NEWPORT -- A Cocke County judge accused of ransacking the county executive's office, then fleeing a psychiatric hospital and eluding a traffic stop, has checked himself in to a private mental health facility, a colleague says. Circuit Judge Ben Hooper II "is not a fugitive, but a sick man who is seeking help for his problems," fellow Fourth Circuit Judge Richard Vance said today. Police reportedly didn't know Hooper's whereabouts late Wednesday. But Vance said Hooper voluntarily checked himself in at an undisclosed private psychiatric hospital on Tuesday. "Ben is getting the help he needs," Vance said. Vance added that the Hooper has been his friend 35 years and that "the events ascribed to him are totally out of character for him. I am very concerned for his health." Hooper, 60, was charged with destruction of county property and public intoxication after the incident at County Executive Charles Lewis Moore's office on Monday. Police escorted him off the property, and he later waited at the Cocke County Jail while the warrants were filled out. But he left with his son, lawyer Ben Hooper III, before they could be served. Friends then took Hooper to Peninsula Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Louisville, Tenn., but he left after popping the lock off a door shortly before midnight Monday. Hooper was with his son and former Circuit Court Judge J. Kenneth Porter when Deputy Marty Widener of the Blount County Sheriff's Department pulled them over early Tuesday morning after hearing from dispatchers about the incident at the hospital, authorities said. On a video recorded from the deputy's car, Hooper's son is heard trying to explain his father's actions. He said his father, who has struggled with a drinking problem for years, had been on a three-day drinking binge and desperately needed intervention. "Well, he's going to jail in just a second, I can tell you that," Widener shot back. Hooper's son said his father left the hospital because, at one point, an unidentified man began laughing at him, and he believed he was being ridiculed. The deputy called for backup, and they let the men go after discussing Hooper's legal options with his son. Blount County Sheriff James Berrong said the deputies made the right decision in letting Hooper go because hospital officials had not indicated whether they wanted to press charges. He said the deputies had no way of knowing about the warrants from Cocke County because it sometimes takes up to a day for such records to be entered into the National Crime Information Center's computer system. Police say Hooper admitted he had vandalized Moore's office in a profanity-laced call to 911 dispatchers. The two had several arguments over political issues. "You know I hate him," Hooper told the dispatcher. "I absolutely ... hate him. I told him so, and I tore his office all to hell." Said Assistant Newport Police Chief Clay Webb: "We'll find him when we get time to serve our warrants. If he's in the hospital or rehab somewhere, there's nothing we can do." Webb stressed that Hooper is facing only misdemeanor charges, saying, "We don't put people in jail on misdemeanor warrants. He will be booked and processed just like anybody else." Hooper, grandson of the late Gov. Ben Hooper, was a Republican state senator from 1975 to 1983. He was appointed to the bench in 1993.
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Remind me...how long ago was this...Years?
notfittojudge

Knoxville, TN

#17 Jun 2, 2010
Looks like 10 years according to the srticle date.
HowLongAgo

Grandview, TN

#18 Jun 2, 2010
notfittojudge wrote:
Looks like 10 years according to the srticle date.
Exactly...why bring it up? Everyone has made mistakes, couldn't see any reason that it was even mentioned. For the most part I think Judge Hooper is a good guy. He has to make tough decisions, but he has laws that he has to abide by. I wouldn't want to have to make the decisions that he has to make.
notfittojudge

Knoxville, TN

#19 Jun 3, 2010
How LongAgo "Exactly...why bring it up? Everyone has made mistakes, couldn't see any reason that it was even mentioned. For the most part I think Judge Hooper is a good guy. He has to make tough decisions, but he has laws that he has to abide by. I wouldn't want to have to make the decisions that he has to make.

I just proved the point you made......we all have laws to abide by, Hooper just didn't think those laws applied to him on the occasion that he decided to get drunk, vandalize and run from the law with the aid of another family member who is also supposed to *know* the law. He may very well be a *good guy* for the most part, but that doesn't cut it in the court room. He should have to live with a few of the sentences he has handed down, they don't always involve adults......

Let's just agree to disagree on this one, it's a public forum. I fully respect your opinion and I have stated mine as well.. My main point is that a fair percentage of our judges have things to hide (as we all do), not all, but some. But then again, you and I don't hand down sentencing on others or get the benefit of the good ol' boys buddy system do we?
HowLongAgo

Grandview, TN

#20 Jun 3, 2010
notfittojudge wrote:
How LongAgo "Exactly...why bring it up? Everyone has made mistakes, couldn't see any reason that it was even mentioned. For the most part I think Judge Hooper is a good guy. He has to make tough decisions, but he has laws that he has to abide by. I wouldn't want to have to make the decisions that he has to make.
I just proved the point you made......we all have laws to abide by, Hooper just didn't think those laws applied to him on the occasion that he decided to get drunk, vandalize and run from the law with the aid of another family member who is also supposed to *know* the law. He may very well be a *good guy* for the most part, but that doesn't cut it in the court room. He should have to live with a few of the sentences he has handed down, they don't always involve adults......
Let's just agree to disagree on this one, it's a public forum. I fully respect your opinion and I have stated mine as well.. My main point is that a fair percentage of our judges have things to hide (as we all do), not all, but some. But then again, you and I don't hand down sentencing on others or get the benefit of the good ol' boys buddy system do we?
I'm sure we all would be shocked if we Knew exactly what when on in our local court system and especially behind the scenes. I've had the misfortune to have to have dealings with our local court system and let me tell you it is no picnic. I don't trust lawyers or judges when they are in their official duties. I know some lawyers and judges on personal levels and they seem to be ok. I do agree they will do whatever it takes to win their cases and it's not because they are so concerned about their clients, it's just an ego trip for them. I hope you have a good day and it's refreshing to be able to give and receive opinions and not be bashed, called ugly names just because we don't see eye to eye on a topic.

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