Supreme Court upholds decision against judge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld the Court of the Judiciary's decision that Cocke County General Sessions Judge John A. Bell took too long to decide a personal injury case and related accusations.

The high court on Friday also affirmed the disciplinary panel's sanctions against Bell, which included a 90-day suspension he served last August, September and October.

According to court records, Bell took more than nine months to decide the case, which involved a car accident. He was quoted as saying at the end of a hearing in the case that he would issue his decision in a week.

The high court said the sanctions were needed "to discourage similar instances of misconduct in the future."

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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