Judge Casey Moreland was arrested at his home this morning after the FBI accused him of trying to "obstruct justice through bribery and witness tampering." A U.S. attorney announced the news at a press conference Tuesday morning.
The formal complaint filed against Moreland is explicit, detailing allegations that he had sexual relationships with at least two women in what seemed to be an exchange for getting them out of criminal charges and unpaid court fees.
In one example in the complaint, an unnamed woman referred to as Person 1 says she was once pulled over by a cop on her way to meet up with Moreland at a bar. The woman was driving with a revoked license, but Moreland intervened by calling the officer’s supervisor.
These allegations have been reported by several Nashville news outlets in recent months and led the FBI to start investigating the judge. The FBI maintains that once Moreland became aware of the federal criminal investigation, he started trying to interfere.
“These actions included devising a scheme to pay over $5,000 in cash to have Person 1 sign an affidavit recanting previous allegations against Judge Moreland," said acting U.S. district attorney Jack Smith.
The FBI also accuses Moreland of attempting to plant drugs on the woman and orchestrate a traffic stop where they would be found, in order to destroy her credibility.
Smith says all these allegations, if true, would amount to “egregious abuses of power by a sitting judge.” The mayor has released a statement that says Moreland should have a chance to defend himself in court — but still calls for his resignation.
"Nashville deserves to have absolute trust in our judiciary, and Casey Moreland, based upon the allegations in the federal complaint, seems to have clearly violated that trust," she writes.
WPLN has not yet heard back from Moreland’s attorney for a request for comment.
The FBI's criminal investigation is still ongoing. The complaint says that the details included are limited only to those that establish probable cause for Moreland's arrest.