AG's opinion supports diversion ban for officials

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper says a state law that makes public officials ineligible for pretrial or judicial diversion for crimes related to their official position or duties is constitutional.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports the opinion was requested by state Rep. Eric Watson, the state House Judiciary Committee Chairman.

Cooper wrote pretrial and judicial diversions are not "fundamental rights" and a state may treat elected or appointed public officials differently than the general public "without running afoul of federal or Tennessee constitutional protections."

The law was passed this year after pretrial diversion was given to former Knox County judge Richard Baumgartner, who was charged with official misconduct related to the purchase of drugs from a probationer in his court.


Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press,

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 164550506 -
Gray Television, Inc.