published Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Cleveland begins selection process to replace judge Bill Moss, who was found dead

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The Cleveland City Council will hold a special meeting Monday to establish the application process for the city judgeship and to consider an interim appointee to replace Judge Bill Moss, who was found dead in a downtown parking lot in the late morning hours of July 14.

"We will discuss the possibility of appointing an interim, since we have been without a city judge for two weeks," Councilman Richard Banks said.

Once the City Council establishes an application process, a judge should be selected by Aug. 25, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said.

The new judge will be sworn in on Sept. 8, he said.

Moss suffered from a gunshot wound that may have been self-inflicted, Evie West, public information officer for the Cleveland Police Department, said shortly after the judge's death.

Police opened a death investigation when Moss was found in a Fourth Street parking lot between Worth and Broad streets.

Autopsy results are expected to take a few more weeks, West said recently.

Cleveland officials have expressed dismay and grief at Moss' death and extended their sympathy to his family.

"The death of Judge Moss was a shock to his city family," Rowland said. "This is a personal loss to me, not only as our judge, but as a longtime friend.

"I have never known a more dedicated public servant," he said of Moss, who had been a municipal judge since 1975.

"Bill was a real people person who gained the respect of everyone who came from his court," Rowland said.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at

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