A judge who displays the Ten Commandments in his courtroom was cleared today of allegations he personally profited from a legal defense fund set up to protect his right to do so.
St. Clair County District Attorney Van Davis said a two-month investigation found nothing to support a complaint against Circuit Judge Roy Moore filed by the Alabama Ethics Commission. The panel in June unanimously ruled there was probable cause to believe Moore had profited from the defense fund.
"Our investigation revealed no evidence that Judge Roy Moore used his office for personal gain. At no time was Judge Moore even in control of this defense fund," Davis said.
Moore is "absolutely delighted" with the decision, said Steve Melchior, an attorney for the Etowah County circuit judge. "We have had to go through a character assassination since July 1997. That is what happens when someone bears false witness."
Moore has traveled the country since 1996 making speeches about his fight with the American Civil Liberties Union to keep a Ten Commandments plaque hanging in his courtroom. The ACLU contends the plaque violates the constitutional separation of church and state. An Alabama Supreme Court ruling, dealing with a technical issue and not the merits of the dispute, dismissed the case.