Election Commission To Bill City For Its Attorney Fees In Recall Case

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Election Commission voted Wednesday to send the city of Chattanooga a bill for its expenses in the Mayor Ron Littlefield recall case.

Chairman Mike Walden said, "They've known about the problem (with the city charter's recall provision) for six years and they've done nothing about it. They've known all about this lawsuit and they've done nothing about it."

He added, "I think the city should pay this bill rather than all the citizens of Hamilton County."

Election Commission Attorney Chris Clem said his bill for the recall case has topped $20,000 and it is ongoing.

He said, "Still, it's just a fourth of the mayor's lawyer bills."

He suggested that the election office send the recall bill to the city in August along with the charge for conducting a city election at that time.

A hearing is set Friday at 9 a.m. before Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hollingsworth on the suit filed by the mayor to try to void the recall and cancel a planned mayoral election in August.

Several recall leaders attending the Election Commission meeting said they had not hired an attorney for the second Littlefield lawsuit because they believe Judge Hollingsworth will again rule against them.

Charles Wysong and Mark West, Tea Party leader, said 42 percent of Judge Hollingsworth's campaign funds came from the law firm of the mayor's attorney. They said he should recuse himself, especially under terms of stricter judicial standards due to go into effect July 1.

Jerry Summers, an attorney and member of the election panel, defended Judge Hollingsworth, saying he "ranks high among the lawyers. I have found him to be a fair and an honorable man. To give the impression that 'the fix is in' I don't go for that. I think that's very unfair."

Attorney Clem said he believes the main issue to be decided by Judge Hollingsworth is whether the recall provision of the city charter has been properly enacted. He said Chancellor Howell Peoples earlier ruled that it had.

Attorney Summers said a key issue is whether the stricter recall standards in state law prevail or whether the city charter provisions should be followed as was ruled by a majority of the Election Commission in confirming the recall. 

James Anderson, another Election Commission member, said the Election Commission should not be challenging a state statute.   


Commissioners Have Lot Of Questions On Vote Involving Transfer Of East Ridge High Athletic Facilities

County Commission members had a number of questions about a vote next Wednesday regarding the transfer by the County School Board of athletic facilities at East Ridge High School to the city of East Ridge. Commissioner Tim Boyd asked why the county vote was even necessary since the property is titled in the name of the schools only. County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said school ... (click for more)

Tim Boyd Apologizes For Text Message To Joe Smith

County Commissioner Tim Boyd on Wednesday apologized for a text message to County School Board member Joe Smith in which he demanded that he set a new school for CSLA as his top priority. Instead, Mr. Smith and a majority of the board put a new $35 million Harrison Elementary ahead of the $64 million plan to make CSLA a K-12 school with completely new facilities. Commissioner ... (click for more)

Getting The Message

Our school age youth have inspired me with their responses during “Q and A” sessions after my readings as a volunteer during African American History Celebrations and Read across America Celebration, too.  Before this school year, I read to classes at Orchard Knob Elementary School and at Rivermont Elementary School, here in Hamilton County.   Their answers to factual ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Marshall’s 3% Folly

The National Health Interview Survey is believed to be the best gauge of health and behaviors in the United States. It is under the umbrella of the nation’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so first let me share that the figures I am going to present are directly attributed to what is the best source believed to be out there. I didn’t make these numbers up and I had nothing ... (click for more)

Red Bank Girls, Tyner Boys Prevail In 6-AA Title Games

The capacity crowd at Hixson High School got their money’s worth and more Tuesday night in the championship finals of the District 6-AA basketball tournament. The Red Bank-Tyner girls have had four extremely tight games this season and the same can be said for the Tyner-Brainerd boys, so you had to know that the two games on tap for the tournament titles would be top-notch and ... (click for more)

Cleveland Manhandles East Hamilton For District 5-3A Tourney Title

Almost every time Diontae Davis got the basketball in his hands he heard a little voice. “Give me the ball! Give me the ball!” It was Davis’ teammate KK Curry. Davis fed Curry a steady diet of passes from every imaginable angle on the court and so did other teammates. The big, lanky junior responded with a game-high 29 points and led Cleveland to a surprising ... (click for more)