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Governor Hears Pleas
Bug in Our Ear
County Commissioners had prepared a letter to Law Director Mike Moyers , a letter instructing him not to appeal Chancellor John Weaver’s decision throwing out the county Charter and its term limits provision. At present, however, they have merely asked him to delay any appeal until after they meet on Monday to discuss what to do to “fix” the Charter.
Mayor Mike Ragsdale has said if issues with the Charter can’t be worked out he will consider appealing the decision.
So what would happen if Commission does instruct Moyers not to appeal and Ragsdale tells him to do so? Moyers refused to answer the question after a press conference Monday, preferring to wait to see if he is confronted by the situation.
The mayor’s office has a duty to enforce Knox County laws. But all county expenditures (including the expenses of an appeal) must be approved by the County Commission.
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Sheriff Tim Hutchison was sued by County Commissioner Wanda Moody over the issue of the sheriff’s expenditures of drug funds without approval of County Commission.
The expenses arising from four different cases include attorneys, court reporters, copying and incidental expenses total $230,501.48 spent by the County Law Department; $19,907.21 spent by the Sheriff’s Department on outside counsel; and $10,816 spent by the County Mayor’s office on outside counsel.
The tab doesn’t include the time spent on the cases by the County Law Department or the sheriff’s staff, merely the cash outlays.
Some of the lawyers and law firms paid include Robertson & Overby; John Valliant ; Dennis Francis ; John Eldridge ; Becker, Thomforde, Brown & Knight; Isaac-Ramsey; Hodges, Doughty & Carson; Eddie Daniel ; Baker Donelson; Watson & Hollow; Jeffery D. Rusk ; Watson & Roach; Ritchie, Fels & Dillard; Kennerly, Montgomery & Finley; and Valliant & Harrison.
Chancellor Daryl Fansler has denied payment of fees for plaintiff Moody’s attorney Herb Moncier .
Governor Hears Pleas
For the next two weeks the phone lines to the governor’s office buzzed with angry calls from Knoxville. The Knoxville Bar, Democrats and some of Gov. Phil Bredesen ’s biggest Republican supporters made it known that Wade was the best choice for the job, and they would take it amiss if he were snubbed.
Wade is a former mayor of Sevierville and is very active in the Friends of the Smokies, an organization that supports the national park.
Bredesen heard from lawyers, business people and even the Tennessee Conservative Union’s Lloyd Daugherty that Wade was a fair-minded judge that followed the law and should get the seat on the Supreme Court.
Bredesen listened and announced Wade for the post last week, to almost universal acclaim in the legal and business community and on the editorial pages.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation recognized Ashe for his efforts in the restoration of the former Miller’s building on Gay Street, now the headquarters of KUB, and for the city Charter amendment for annual reports on the state of historic preservation. Kennedy was recognized for his work in Congress on preservation issues.
Kim Trent , head of Knox Heritage, was scheduled to attend on behalf of the city of Knoxville. Ashe is now serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Poland.
Majority Leader Bill Frist was ranked as the most powerful senator and Sen. Lamar Alexander , in his first term, came in at 81st.
Over in the House, Congressman Jimmy Duncan was the most powerful member of the Tennessee delegation, coming in at 108 out of 435. Congressman Zach Wamp , often touted as moving into House leadership, ranked 179th. Congressman Bart Gordon , who is a Democrat, came in at 196th, but more powerful than the rest of the Republicans in the delegation. Congressman Bill Jenkins was 248th. Congressman Marsha Blackburn , in her second term, was 285th.
For the rest of the Democrats, Congressman John Tanner was 305th, Congressman Harold Ford Jr. was at 383, Congressman Lincoln Davis at 403 and Congressman Jim Cooper was at 404. Davis and Cooper are also just completing two terms.