Who Did It?
How About Big Shelby?
Bug in Our Ear
Who Did It?
Actually the list includes a fairly distinguished group of Knox County citizens, some of them attorneys, many of them County Commissioners.
The list includes: James Carroll Jr. , Brown Ayers , Richard Beeler , Mary Ann Homewood , Leo Cooper , Bee DeSelm , Rudy Dirl , Fred Flenniken , Teddi Fritts , Lewis H. Holmes Jr. , Frank Leuthold , Allen Morgan , Claude Robertson , Steve Roth , David Sharp , Parkey Strader , Ralph Teague , Billy Tindell and Billy Walker . (Tindell, still on County Commission, sued to overturn the oharter.)
The County Law Director at the time was Dale Workman , who is now a Circuit Court Judge. A member of the charter commission advises us that “it is inconceivable” that Workman would not have instructed the Knox County Election Commission to forward the Charter to the Secretary of State’s office.
How About Big Shelby?
If the Knox County Charter is invalid, what does that say about the Shelby County Charter? That may mean Shelby County will want to intervene with a friend of the court brief on any appeals from Knox County to save the Charter.
It also might give the state Supreme Court pause to overturn the charters of the only two counties in the state that have a home rule charter.
John Valliant and Arthur Seymour Jr. , who often have business before County Commission on behalf of developers and business owners, have represented the five term-limited county commissioners trying to overturn the Charter. Herb Moncier , the nemesis of Sheriff Tim Hutchison , represented Commissioner John Schmid in an effort to term-limit other county officeholders. Now Schmid is appealing Weaver’s ruling with the help of Bernstein, Stair and McAdams.
One attorney told us they are not doing the work “pro bono” (lawyer talk for free) but we understand from another client that his lawyer’s fee thus far is $1.
We certainly hope that all these public officials are properly grateful to these public-spirited attorneys when all this is over and we get back to normal.
How Do You Pick?
When County Mayor Mike Ragsdale announced his choices for a new charter review commission to fix “technical flaws” and try and get a chancellor to reinstate it, there was a public outcry and much talk-show chatter about his putting people on the review panel who had sued to invalidate the Charter in the first place.
It may have been a tactical error, but it would have been awkward for Ragsdale to explain during his announcement that he didn’t want those people to serve, but that the law required him to appoint commissioners from each district. And there are some districts where both commissioners sued.
In District 2 the choice was between Billy Tindell and David Collins , both of whom were parties to the suit. In District 1 Ragsdale picked Diane Jordan , who is a party to the suit, but only after the other commissioner, Tank Strickland , turned it down. In District 4 the nod went to Phil Guthe instead of John Schmid . Schmid did not sue over the Charter; he had another issue. They didn’t put Schmid on the panel because he has standing to appeal the ruling, which he has done, and it would have complicated the case.
The figure includes court reporters, stenographers and legal fees to outside counsel in all the cases. The Law Director’s office has spent $235,985, the sheriff’s department $19,907, and the county mayor’s office $1,725.
The figures represent case outlays and do not reflect staff expenses in the various offices devoted to the suits.
The Drinnen campaign for the Republican nomination for the 18th District is using the theme of “sensible and effective” leadership. That possibly bears an implication that Campfield is not sensible or effective. Campfield took on the Black Caucus and the Democratic leadership during this last term and angered some of his colleagues with his blog criticizing their ethics.
Drinnen’s endorsements constitute a long list of Knoxville business and political heavyweights opposed to Campfield’s continued tenure in Nashville.