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.   

Avery Charged In Attack With Chair Leg At Moccasin Bend That Left Man In Critical Condition

An arrest has been made in the aggravated assault Thursday at the Moccasin Bend Mental Health facility that left 38-year-old Kevin Green in critical condition. He was struck in the head with a chair leg, police said. Leviticus Avery, 37, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault. He is an inmate at the Hamilton County Jail. ... (click for more)

Police Say Mullis Was Involved In Incident In Which Woman Was Shot Outside Hixson Walmart

Anthony Lee Mullis, 21, is facing several charges including attempted aggravated robbery on Sept. 28.       In that incident, the victim was found at the Hixson Walmart with a gunshot wound to her hip.   She stated that she had agreed to meet with the defendant in the parking lot to buy some “Roxys” or Oxycodone, but that when she ... (click for more)

The Facts About Jail

Since Roy had such a positive reaction to Jeffrey Cross's wonderful (and wonderfully civil--how refreshing) email response to his column on the bike lanes, allow me to speak on the subject of the jail.  First off, Roy's right about some things:  It is overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed.  This is no secret, it's in the Grand Jury report every term.  Here's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Must Learn To Tell

On July 4th of this year, FBI agents – acting on a tip -- arrested Alexander Ciccolo, a 23-year-old with known mental problems, as he carried a duffle bag full of automatic attack weapons. Moments before, he had bought the illegal firearms from an undercover informant outside of Boston. As agents later scoured his apartment, they found bomb-making equipment including a pressure ... (click for more)

Healthy Silverdale Takes Down Grace For 5-1A Volleyball Title

With season-long injuries healed and a full contingent of players available, Silverdale Baptist Academy completed a run for the District 5-1A volleyball tournament championship by sweeping Grace Baptist Academy, 3-0, on Thursday. The game scores were 25-22, 25-20 and 25-18. The host Lady Seahawks advance to the Region 3-1A tournament on Monday at Sale Creek and will play ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Wins 7-AA Volleyball Over Notre Dame

Notre Dame and Signal Mountain seem to bring out the best in each other, at least when the sport is volleyball. These were the top two teams in District 7-AA this fall.  Signal got the top seed based on its 3-0 win at Notre Dame after the Lady Irish had taken a 3-1 match at Signal early in the season. But with all the chips on the line for the 7-AA tournament championship, ... (click for more)