After weeks of no responses, judge answers questions from investigators

Desiree Moss, L, and Lucas Frawley speak to chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley. (WSMV)

After more than two weeks of repeatedly reaching out to Judge Casey Moreland to no avail, investigators with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office finally spoke with the embattled judge.

Investigators first reached out to Moreland on Jan. 26, and a sheriff’s department spokesman confirmed they repeatedly tried to reach to him with no response until Monday.

Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Karla West emailed the Channel 4 I-Team and wrote, “Judge Casey Moreland reached out to the sheriff's office today and answered questions in regards to our on-going administrative investigation of former DCSO employee Lucas Frawley. To be clear, Judge Moreland is not - and has never been - the subject of this administrative investigation.”

Worrick Robinson, Moreland’s attorney, emailed the I-Team and said Moreland was unaware that sheriff’s investigators needed to speak personally with him because investigators had already spoken with his staff.

An I-Team investigation first exposed that the sheriff’s office is investigating the relationship between the former Davidson County Sheriff’s Office deputy Lucas Frawley and inmate Desiree Moss.

Frawley was specifically assigned to Moreland’s courtroom and escorted Moss several times.

Two weeks after Frawley resigned from the department, he posted that he and Moss were engaged.

But both Frawley and Moss deny that they were romantically involved while he was employed with the sheriff’s office and while she was an inmate.

The sheriff’s administrative investigation focuses on whether Frawley and Moss had either a romantic or sexual relationship while she was an inmate.

Relationships between inmates and deputies are forbidden by the sheriff’s office.

A former sheriff’s office employee said sexual behavior between deputies and inmates can also result in criminal charges, because a deputy is considered an authority figure.

"She (Moss) was not in a position to consent to any type of relationship with a sheriff's department,” said the employee who requested anonymity because he considers himself a whistleblower and wishes to continue to mine for information.

That former employee also corresponded with Moss on Facebook.

In those conversations, Moss at first denied the relationship, but later messaged and asked if she could sue the sheriff’s office.

"She messaged me, out of the blue, and said I have the proof. It's true. I have been in a relationship with a sheriff's deputy,” the former employee said.

Moss told the I-Team that she had the Facebook conversations for fun, just to see if it would show up in a blog criticizing the sheriff’s office.

"It's a pretty serious subject to be joking around about,” said chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley.

"Never once did it (the Facebook messages) say that me and him (Frawley) had a physical relationship,” Moss said.

Moreland told the I-Team by phone that he was troubled when he first heard of the rumor of the relationship.

Moreland said he was shown some sort of sexual photograph of Frawley and Moss and told his former deputy to resign.

When asked why he didn’t go with this information to the sheriff or police, Moreland said he thought Frawley would tell the sheriff.

The I-Team also showed Frawley a text, that he confirms he sent to another person, in which Frawley responds to a question about him getting into trouble for having the relationship by texting, “It all got swept under the rug.”

Frawley said he too was joking, and wanted to see if it showed up on the blog.

The former sheriff’s employee also said it caught his attention that on Facebook, Moreland’s own son, Jay, “liked” the engagement of Frawley and Moss.

"Now, the judge's son is liking the posting. I thought that was troubling,” the former employee said.

Worrick wrote in this email to the I-Team, “Judge Moreland learned for the first time today that the DCSO wanted to speak to him concerning Lucas Frawley. In turn, Judge Moreland contacted the Investigative Division of the DCSO and spoke to an investigator and answered all of her questions. Prior to today, Judge Moreland was aware that the DCSO had spoken with members of his office about Frawley but was not aware the DCSO needed to speak to him personally. Since it is an ongoing investigation, it would not be appropriate to comment further except to say that Ms. Moss was not incarcerated nor was she enrolled in the Drug Court Program when Judge Moreland learned of their relationship.”

Worrick also wrote that Jay Moreland and Frawley were longtime work acquaintances/friends and that him “liking” the Facebook post in no way suggests that any member of the Moreland family had knowledge about the relationship.

Copyright 2017 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the News4 I-Team's Chief Investigative Reporter. He has won multiple Midsouth Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Awards.

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