Thou Shalt Not [Allegedly] Steal: Tennessean Judge Accused Of Stealing Money Raised For Ten Commandments Display

Hawkins County (Tenn.) Sessions Court Judge James “Jay” Taylor appears to attract investigations the way motor homes attract tornados. He has been sued in various civil lawsuits and has now been hit with five criminal charges, including stealing money that he raised for a “Citizens Heritage Display” including the Ten Commandments to be placed in the lobby of the Hawkins County Justice Center. He is continuing his push for reelection as well as his performances as part of “The Redeemed Southern Gospel Singing Quartet.”

The charges include stealing from a client and taking money for legal services not rendered. Before his appointment in May, Taylor served as juvenile court judge. He insists on the Ten Commandments allegation that “All money raised in support of the Foundations Display (Citizens Heritage Display) was given in a cashier’s check to a member of the American Legion, along with a list of people who had made contributions.”

Taylor is up for reelection in March. He may quietly want to lose since some if not all of these charges may be dropped if he were not on the bench. His bio states the following:

Judge Taylor graduated from East Tennessee State University, in 1994, with a degree in Political Science. He graduated from Mercer University School of Law, in 1997, and was admitted to practice law that same year. Taylor was appointed in 2011 as the Judge of the General Sessions Court of Hawkins County, after having been elected as the Judge of the Juvenile Court in 2006. He has been a speaker and instructor on a variety of legal topics, including being selected by the State of Tennessee to train the clerks of courts on juvenile law and procedure.

Judge Taylor and his wife, Julia North Taylor, of The Redeemed Southern Gospel Singing Quartet, have two sons, Cross and Luke. The Taylor family lives in Hawkins County, Tennessee. Taylor is a member of Spires Chapel Baptist Church where he is the Youth Leader and a Sunday School teacher. Having come from a family of pastors, and having his father-in-law serve as pastor of his church, Taylor’s life and interests revolve around his church and family. His grandparents had a powerful and spiritual influence on his life, and Taylor’s life has been largely guided by Papa Best’s advice: God has given each of us a special talent and gift; prayerfully find yours, and then serve God with it.

Source: TimesNews as first seen on ABA Journal.

42 thoughts on “Thou Shalt Not [Allegedly] Steal: Tennessean Judge Accused Of Stealing Money Raised For Ten Commandments Display”

  1. I see that Judge Jay Taylor is back in the news. Well, not exactly. It is his OFFICE that is in the news. Seems the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant on his office today. It is not clear from the news stories exactly what they were looking for, but TBI is known for being thorough.

    Extrapolating, I would say Judge Taylor should not make any long range plans for his future. It may be decided for him by others.


  2. “imagine the uproar should someone express a desire to build a mosque in Hawkins County, Tennessee”

    I am a doctor in the community here, one of only three muslims in this entire county that I know of. As far as most people here know, there are zero muslims. If people knew they would burn my house down, none of us discuss it with others. This is an extremely redneck area, people are clannish, and will defend any wrongdoing imaginable, drugs, rape and murder, if committed by members of their fundamentalist church. This judge’s friends are spreading the idea that all these charges are the work of the devil, trying to stop this poor godly man from bringing the Lord’s word to the courthouse. I think they know that everything they say is a lie, but they somehow justify it all with themselves. They call us muslims fundamentalists, well I never saw anything like it is here back in Pakistan.

  3. We have a dog in our dog pack named Luke. So when I quote Luke or the other blabberdog named Matthew I am not quoting from the Bible. Luke says that he was a human in his past incarnation and that he came back as a dog on his own choosing. He went through that same place that I did on the reincarnation trip. Its a place that looks like the big reception hall at Ellis Island when foreigners used to come into the United States. He says that he went through a seminar called Come Back As A Dog–Welcome Otter. Me, I was not given a choice. According to Luke, there was a guy at the seminar who had stolen from a church and they did not send him to Hell or Limbo but let him come back as a dog. Coming back as a dog is Heaven. So why, I asked Luke, would one get rewarded for stealing from a church? Well, he growled, a church is like organized crime and stealing from the mob is not a crime or a sin. A sin would be to be like a judge, who puts the Ten Commandments on a billboard on the lawn of the courthouse and then proceeds to kill another human and call it by some phony name like execution by lethal injection. Oh, I said. So, I turned Luke onto this blog and he might be Dogaloggin on this Blogalog as well. Just thought I would warn you because he talks on and on. But, like me he was a humanoid in a prior life and he might have something valuable. Around here in the pack he always signs his name According To Luke. Matthew does the same thing.

    If they lock this judge up I hope they dont put him in general population. He will be a bad influence.

  4. In scrolling down the front page, am I the only one who noticed the remarkable resemblance of this judge to the guy in the story immediately below this one?

    Nah, just imagining things….

  5. Shall we submit a joint request for a grant to the Saudi Embassy for the building fund? I’m sure they’d fix both the Imam and the congregation too.

  6. You may all think this is a controversy, but imagine the uproar should someone express a desire to build a mosque in Hawkins County, Tennessee.

  7. He’s an evangelical Robin Hood. He steals from the pious to give to the greedy. I like it. I really like it.

    The Redeemed Southern Gospel Singing Quartet? In the old days we just called ’em the James Gang.

  8. Lottakatz and MS — thanks for the thumbs up. i don’t always read every comment, but y’all are on that short list of folks whose every comment I read (even if I haven’t read the post — sorry, JT).

    Bud — At one time Gandhi read the Sermon on the Mount every morning; When asked why he kept reading the same passage over and over he replied that he hadn’t yet been able to conform his life to its teachings.

    Re: deathbed confessions. W.C. Fields, an atheist, was seen on his deathbed thumbing through the Bible. Asked if he had a change of heart he said, “Nope, just looking for a loophole.”

    [W.C. also said that anyone who hated dogs and small children can’t be all bad. He was a juggler, too.]

  9. Mike S: “One could live a truly monstrous life and if there was time on their deathbed, feel remorse, accept Jesus and go peacefully into Heaven.”

    Sort of like John Wayne eh?

    Even as a small child preparing for my first communion I thought the whole death-bed redemption/baptism thing was a scam.

  10. Oro Lee,

    Your presence here is quite welcome. You write good, intelligent stuff and your “rants” just indicate your passion for ideas.

  11. Curious, Good point. I was considering that myself and all I could come up with was that the whole thing was a scheme. He has to know it can’t happen legally so after he gets a whole pot of money he the funnels it someplace else to his benefit or the benefit of some group he has ties to. It seems to be funneled to/through the American Legion. They can make political contributions can they not? Too paranoid?

  12. Curious,

    I kind of mentioned it when I mentioned him sleeping through Con Law, but I didn’t say more because using the words “display of the Ten Commandments” and “erection” usually only serves to encourage people like Taylor. That whole cause and effect thingy.

  13. Oro Lee
    Sorry for the rants,
    Dude, you are on fire, your postings are righteous brother.

  14. Why no discussion of the purpose of the money – the erection of a display of the Ten Commandments? I thought this was illegal or have we all caved on that?

  15. Hypocrites from the git go. This judge reminds me of a preacher who is allowed to conduct Bible classes in our apt building. The first time I saw this clown he drove through our parking lot (one way) 3 times in wrong direction. I happened to be standing at the entrance as he did this. When he finally parked & started to enter the building I asked him if he was aware that he had driven in the wrong direction multiple times. He denied that it was him even though I watched the whole thing and he was looking straight at me the 2nd & 3rd trips. I mention this lie frequently when I see him.

    Today I had walked outside again with my granddaughter waiting for her father to pick her up. Lo and behold here he comes again, only now he is driving a brand new Lexus SUV. He knew I was going to say something so stopped and waited. AND I said something. Not what he expected for sure. I noted that the preaching business must be pretty good to afford that new Lexus. He started making excuses claiming that it belonged to his dear mother, it was furnished by his church, etc. I asked for the name of his church and he didn’t have a name…said he was from NY. ( Yes, that was his answer), He’s been in Florida for at least a year that I am aware of & still has NY plates on his car. So then I threw in what he was waiting for and asked him if he thought he was something special to keep driving thru our one way parking lot in the wrong direction.

    An old lady came walking along just in time to hear the last line and accused me of being hateful. Yes, I’m being hateful for telling the truth. That’s one thing that I have discovered that really bugs the religious fanatics. They darn sure don’t want to hear the truth about their lies & hypocrisy. I’m sure that this preacher/judge will have some perfectly legitimate (in his mind) excuse for stealing the money.

    Some (most) days religion makes me want to puke.

  16. If Jay Taylor keeps up this sort of behavior he’ll be in the US Congress by 2020.

  17. I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. — Gandhi.

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