Trooper refuses to allow judge into Supreme Court building
A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper disciplined in 2009 for sending a racist message through the state's email system has retired after being disciplined again for refusing to allow Tennessee's only black female appellate judge to enter the state Supreme Court building, according to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
Trooper Brent Gobbell, who had four prior disciplinary actions on his record, was reprimanded and docked a day's pay for turning away Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Camille McMullen when she tried to deliver paperwork for a judicial colleague on June 14, according to the official discipline memo from Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons. He has since retired, a department spokeswoman said.
"Upon Judge McMullen presenting you with her official judicial identification card, you refused to take it into your possession and verify its authenticity. Instead, you told Judge McMullen, ‘Those are easy to come by.' You were implying that her identification card could possibly be fraudulent without knowing what kind of identification she was presenting," Gibbons wrote.
Gobbell allowed McMullen to give the paperwork to a clerk, who agreed to pass it along, and later sent the judge an apology via email. Still, wrote Gibbons in the memo to Gobbell, his actions demonstrated "an utter disregard to proper procedures regarding accepting proper procedures and allowing appropriate personnel access to the Tennessee Supreme Court building."
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