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District Attorney Craig Northcott releases statement

As many will recall, about two years ago, I was attacked for holding to and endeavoring to live every aspect of my life by the Truth of God’s Word as found in the Bible. This was done in an apparent attempt to discredit me following my appointment as special prosecutor to handle a couple of politically charged matters in Davidson County. A summary of the attack is that it was alleged that I am unfit to serve as District Attorney and to remain an attorney in Tennessee because I taught the Word of God regarding homosexuality from the pulpit of a church in Houston, Texas at a Bible conference primarily for pastors sponsored by a seminary as well as my expressing my theological belief regarding Islam while commenting on another individual’s Facebook post in my personal capacity. Amazingly, this simple exercising of my God-given, constitutionally protected rights so upset certain groups of people that I made local, national, and international news and I had to fight their efforts to have me disbarred for the last two years. Throughout that time, I promised many to keep them informed as the battle progressed and to notify them of the outcome. I could never remember all the people to whom I made that promise and this is my attempt to keep those promises. 

I was required by the Disciplinary Counsel for the Board of Professional Responsibility (BPR) to respond to disciplinary complaints filed against me by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in New York City, a random individual who claimed he lived in Louisiana, the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Wisconsin and an attorney in Nashville that claimed to speak for over 300 other attorneys and law students. To my knowledge, none of the complainants have ever set foot in a criminal court in Coffee County since I have been District Attorney and none of these complainants alleged that I had mishandled a specific case or mistreated any defendant, victim, or witness because of their theological beliefs or sexual orientation. They simply alleged that my holding to, expressing, living my life by, and performing my job duties consistently with the Word of God made me unfit to be District Attorney and practice law. They each sought for me to be immediately stripped of my right to practice law and removed from office. 

After several months of my fully and truthfully responding in writing to these allegations as well as being deposed, the BPR asked me to agree to be publicly censured for violating the rules of ethics in exchange for them not pursuing more harsh discipline up to disbarment. I refused to accept that punishment because I had done nothing wrong. In response, the BPR through the Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed a formal complaint against me initiating legal proceedings to obtain such discipline. After much legal wrangling, they attempted to rework their initial complaint because of the obvious lack of factual and legal support for their position and, more importantly, because their attempts were barred by constitutional protections of this State and Country. The revised allegations were equally lacking in legal and factual support. Remarkably, the BPR through the Office of Disciplinary Counsel never alleged the mishandling of a specific case and admitted under oath that, after more than a year of investigation, they could not find a single case that I or my office had mishandled. 

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After the investigation and discovery process was completed, my attorney filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in which I asserted that, even if the hearing panel takes the facts and law in the light most favorable to the BPR, there is no legal and/or factual basis to find that I violated a single Rule of Professional Conduct. A hearing was held on this motion in December 2020 and a ruling was issued in April 2021. In that ruling, the hearing panel granted my motion and dismissed the complaint against me. The time for the BPR to appeal that decision recently passed and they did not appeal. Accordingly, this matter is now over. 

I thank my wife, kids, extended family, staff, friends, and everyone else who stood behind me throughout this. I appreciate your prayers and am humbled by your support more than you know and more than words can express. I had attorneys representing me through portions of this process: Brian Faughnan at the initial stages and Darrell Townsend for the concluding stages. I want to thank them as well for their excellent services and efforts on my behalf. 

Over the last 2 years, I have been attacked personally for and pressured to disavow my closely held Christian beliefs under the threat of losing my law license. I knew what was at risk but also understood that my first duty is always to God. Thus, relying on His promises and knowing that Scripture tells us that we will be attacked for standing for His Truth, I was determined to not abandon my faith because a vocal and militant minority was upset because I express and endeavor to live by God’s mandates. God saw me through the battle and provided the resources needed to continue to resist these efforts. Accordingly, the glory is His. 

Tencourage all my Christian brethren to stand firm against these attacks. (See 1 Corinthians 1:13-14). We must equip ourselves with the intake and consistent application of true Bible doctrine so that the schemes of the world will not overcome us. (See Ephesians 6:11-12). Be courageous and bold in the face of the growing assault against us in this country. (See James 1:12). God is good and faithful. 

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I look forward to continuing to serve this community as your District Attorney.

Sincerely, 

Craig Northcott District Attorney 

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