Disciplinary Charges Leveled Against Judge Dumas - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NC5 Investigates: General Sessions Court

Disciplinary Charges Leveled Against Judge Dumas

General Sessions Judge Gloria Dumas General Sessions Judge Gloria Dumas
Dumas and her daughter Dumas and her daughter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A Nashville judge is in hot water with the court that regulates Tennessee judges.

That court, the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary, announced Monday that it has filed formal charges against General Sessions Judge Gloria Dumas.

At the center of the complaint are questions about Dumas' persistent tardiness -- a problem first exposed by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

The nine-page complaint lays out what we discovered: a judge who had great difficulty being on-time and, according to the charges, didn't seem to care when she was told she wasn't following state law.

Read disciplinary charges filed against Judge Gloria Dumas (.pdf)

Late last year, our hidden cameras tracked Dumas as she repeatedly show up late for work --sometimes as much as 45 minutes late.

That left police, victims and others in her courtroom, waiting for the judge and for justice.

Specifically, the complaint states that "by her frequent absence from her duties as General Sessions Judge, Judge Dumas has willfully failed to 'devote full time to the duties of such office,'" as required by law.

It also alleges that defense attorneys were appointed as special judges to fill in for her "in a fashion that fails to meet Tennessee law" and that she continued to do so even after being given notice that her appointments violated the law.

That, according to the complaint, could constitute evidence of "intentional misconduct."

Dumas dismissed questions about her tardiness when first confronted by NewsChannel 5 chief investigative reporter Phil Williams.

"If you have trouble having the discipline to be on time, do you have the discipline to be a judge?" Williams asked.

"I think I'm a very good judge," she responded.

"Even if you are chronically late?"

"But late depends... you are saying unless I am sitting on the bench at 9 o'clock, I can't be an effective judge. I completely and totally 100 percent disagree with that."

The complaint also cites the judge for hiring her daughter as a court officer -- something that our investigation also discovered. That, according to the charges, violated rules against nepotism.

Judge Dumas will be given a chance to respond to the charges.

After that, the Court of the Judiciary will, in essence, hold a trial.

The court could reprimand her or recommend that the legislature remove her from office.

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