November 20, 2012
A Somber Time
The Tennessee Supreme Court has disbarred an attorney recently convicted of misconduct in office.
Former Hawkins County Assistant District Attorney General John Douglas Godbee was convicted Monday in Jefferson County Circuit Court on a charge of official misconduct.
The investigation into Godbee’s conduct began when, in September 2010, a female defendant and her mother alleged that Doug Godbee – who at the time was an assistant prosecutor in the 3rd Judicial District- had allegedly attempted to solicit a sexual relationship with the daughter. The sexual relationship was ostensibly in exchange for a favorable outcome in the criminal case Godbee was prosecuting.
The case first went to court in April of 2011, when the state and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation brought forth an indictment by the Hawkins County grand jury.
The case was transferred and went through the Tennessee Criminal Court of Appeals before being remanded back to Circuit Court in Jefferson County, where the case came to an end with Godbee’s conviction.
Today Godbee entered a no contest plea to one count of official misconduct. He was instructed to serve a two-year sentence, which he will serve as supervised probation.
In court, Judge Duane Slone first said that Godbee was pleading guilty, but he was corrected by the defendant who pleaded “no contest”.
The court laid out Godbee’s sentence requirements, which include community service, therapy, a psychosexual evaluation, court costs and fines.
He was instructed by the court that he must follow any and all recommendations of his therapist as he continues under his current medical and mental counseling regiment.
Godbee says that, as of Monday, he has already surrendered his license to his attorney. He has also consented to be disbarred by the Tennessee State Supreme Court from his practice of law, as ordered by the court.
If Godbee meets all the requirements of his probation for one year, he will be allowed to go on unsupervised probation for the remainder of his two-year sentence.
Godbee’s attorney, Paul Whetstone, refused to speak to the media today other than to make one comment. “It’s a somber time right now,” he said.
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