Nashville Judge Casey Moreland charged, taken into custody
Also Tuesday, a member of Metro Council filed a resolution calling for Moreland's resignation.
The U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Tennessee, discusses the charges against Judge Casey Moreland Tuesday, March 28, 2017(Photo: Shelley Mays / USA Today Network - Tennesseee)
The federal government on Tuesday filed criminal charges against Nashville General Sessions Judge Casey Moreland.
Acting U.S. Attorney for Middle Tennessee Jack Smith announced Moreland, 59, was charged with attempting to obstruct justice through bribery and witness tampering. Moreland was taken into custody Tuesday morning.
"The allegations set forth in the indictment set forth egregious abuses of power by a judge sitting here in Nashville," Smith said in a statement.
Moreland, a judge since 1998, was the subject of an FBI investigation related to allegations of misconduct in office. Among the allegations documented in police reports and accounts were that he intervened in a traffic stop for a woman he had a personal relationship with and waived jail time for his future son in law.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Moreland tried to pay a woman thousands of dollars to recant her allegations against him. That occurred on March 1, a month after the FBI began an inquiry.
Federal officials said Moreland also devised a scheme based on "his desire to have drugs planted" on the woman and orchestrate a traffic stop where she would "be arrested and her credibility destroyed."
Also Tuesday, as the charges were being announced, Metro Councilman Jeremy Elrod filed a resolution calling for Moreland's resignation.
"Based on everything that I've heard, no judge that has done a fraction of what he's been accused of should be able to preside over people's lives, particularly vulnerable women they he apparently does not show respect for," Elrod said.
"I see no reason for this man to keep the judgeship any longer."
Photo of money used in a bribery attempt by Judge Casey Moreland, according to federal officials (Photo: Shelley Mays / USA Today Network - Tennesseee)
Moreland is one of 11 General Sessions judges in Nashville. Each earns $170,000. He is expected to make an initial court appearance this afternoon. Smith said his office would ask that Moreland remain in custody.
This story will be updated here