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Former Tennessee Prosecutor Sentenced to Probation

The ABA Journal has reported that Doug Godbee, a former Tennessee prosecutor, was disbarred for misconduct. The misconduct included Godbee telling a defendant that he would go easy on her if she had sex with him. Godbee not only lost his law license, he also was sentenced to two years of probation back in October after looking for sexual favors from the woman he was prosecuting.

The career of Godbee began to spiral downward when a defendant and her mother claimed that he offered a leniency-for-sex deal back in 2010. Godbee was with the Hawkins County District Attorney’s Office at the time.

Godbee was the prosecutor in Rogersville for over 30 years prior to resigning in September of 2010 when the allegations came to light about his misconduct. The Kingsport Times-News reported that 14 civil lawsuits were filed against the state claiming that Godbee offered an inappropriate quid pro quo.

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Godbee pled no contest to one count of felony misconduct.

Russell Johnson, the Attorney General from Kingston, was the special prosecutor for the Godbee case, according to the Kingsport Times-News.

“The victims can now move forward with their civil claims for damages, and those folks who have followed this case can now have some closure,” Johnson said. “This is a felony conviction that will always remain on Godbee’s record. He received neither a pre-trial diversion nor a judicial diversion.”

Johnson also said, “I hope that the conclusion of this case will help begin to repair the damage that Mr. Godbee’s conduct caused the criminal justice system in Hawkins County. I also hope that the supervision, counseling and therapy that this two-year sentence carries will begin to help Mr. Godbee heal himself. At one time he was a positive contributor to the Hawkins County community and a good prosecutor. It is unfortunate for him and the justice system that he was sworn to uphold that he fell into this terrible mind-set and lifestyle that caused harm to so many people.”

The law license for Godbee was suspended on August 6 and had been working in private practice after stepping down from his position with the state. His private practice served Hawkins County. Criminal Court Judge John Dugger was tasked with finding new attorneys for Godbee’s clients, of which 18 were from Hawkins County and six from Hamblen County.

“The major aspect of this case to many people will be getting the felony conviction to the official misconduct charge, just like the grand jury indicted it,” Johnson said. “The even better result, in my opinion, is having Godbee disbarred so he will not have the ability to come into contact with or intimidate these types of individuals again.”

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