Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

April 2, 2007

Gibson decision could come late this week

TBI investigation described as "fluid"

By Michael R. Moser / mmoser@crossville-chronicle.com

A spokeswoman for the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility said Friday that the BPR will not hear closing arguments or receive written closing statements and that the board could have a decision on Bill Gibson's law license by the end of the week.

Mary Woodruff of the BPR, however, cautioned that the board was not on a time table or schedule and that the decision will come when the three-member panel completes its review of last week's testimony.

In addition, a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman said the TBI investigation into Gibson's action is "fluid and on-going."

13th Judicial District Attorney General William "Bill" Gibson had his license to practice law suspended indefinitely by the BPR last September after ethics issues surfaced centering on his conduct with a self-confessed killer and with a woman who had been charged in a methamphetamine raid.

The issues became public after letters Gibson exchanged with convicted murderer Christopher Adams became public when discovered by an attorney working on his appeal.

For two days last week the BPR heard testimony from nearly two dozen witnesses including a marathon session on Tuesday. The panel is made up of attorneys John J. Hollins of Nashville, Roger Alan Maness of Clarksville and Barbara Medley of Lewisburg.

The three are expected to confer this week and present a finding of fact to the Tennessee Supreme Court which will then OK or reject the finding. Historically, the Supreme Court does not reject recommendations of the BPR.

If Gibson's appeal of his suspension is rejected, Gibson can appeal that decision in the Putnam Chancery Court which would then have to decide whether to hear the appeal or ask for a special chancellor to sit in.

Meanwhile, TBI spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson would not comment on the status of a TBI investigation other than to say it was ongoing and "fluid." Reportedly, as the probe went on, the scope expanded. The TBI was asked to look into the Gibson matter by the Tennessee Attorney General's Office.

TAG spokeswoman Sharon Curtis-Flair said she could not confirm that the former state attorney requested the probe, and that she could not comment on a pending investigation.