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Judges disciplined for trips to Costa Rica

July 2, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two judges investigated for trips they took to Costa Rica have been disciplined.

The Tennessean reports government travel records show Judges Aaron Holt and Monte Watkins were in Costa Rica at the same time as former judge Cason “Casey” Moreland , who’s now in prison for corruption charges.

Moreland told federal prosecutors that other Nashville judges and attorneys traveled with him, hired prostitutes and used marijuana. Prosecutors say the trips created “an atmosphere of cronyism and favoritism” in Moreland’s court.

Lawyer Brian Manookian filed complaints against Holt and Watkins before the state board of judicial conduct. Judge and board chair Dee David Gay wrote in a letter that the board took action, but didn’t specify the punishments.

Court staffers didn’t respond to The Tennessean’s requests for comments from Holt and Watkins.

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Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

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