Cotton Can Stay On Commission If He Chooses

Friday, September 30, 2005

County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said William Cotton can stay on the County Commission even though he was arrested by the FBI on Thursday morning for extortion.

Attorney Taylor said, "He can stay on unless he is convicted or pleads guilty."

The county attorney said if Commissioner Cotton decides to step down, then it will be up to the other eight members of the commission to name his replacement.

He represents District 4.

Cotton was released from custody early Thursday afternoon. He rushed past reporters into a waiting van without making any comment.

County Commissioner Curtis Adams, who often sparred with Cotton, said, "I regret this happened. I regret it for him and for his family.

"We were political enemies for 12 years, but it was never personal. It was over issues."

Commissioner Adams said, "When something like this happens, it is a black eye for the entire commission."

Commissioner Fred Skillern said the arrest "is a black mark against the whole commission."

He said when he was chairman, he had been approached about E-Cycle, but "I refused to meet with them."

Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Stuart James had this statement:

"As chair of the Hamilton County Democratic Party I am once again deeply saddened to hear of another arrest in the Tennessee Waltz. The latest news of the arrest of William Cotton for taking bribes as a government official affects our community, our government, and both the Democratic and Republican Party of this community. It seems news of corruption affects our local community, our state government and our nation - particularly with yesterday's news of the indictment against U.S. Rep. Tom Delay.

"However, as I have said when I learned of the news to the indictments of state Rep. Chris Newton and state Sen. Ward Crutchfield - an indictment is a charge, it is not a conviction. Under our Constitution, all people are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The presumption of innocence is one of the greatest protections our Constitution gives to the citizens of our country. From William Cotton to Tom Delay the same standards apply.

"As we learn of this latest news, this is the time when the political parties of our community must ask for meaningful and enforceable ethics reform. As chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party I believe it is time for the Republican Party and our party to come together, to unite, and ask our governor, our Legislature, and the United States government to enact meaningful reform. We must take affirmative action to restore the faith and confidence that government needs from its people.

"As I have said in the past, an indictment does not mean you are guilty. If, however, an elected official chooses to plead guilty I do believe that that elected official should immediately resign. If, however, an elected official proclaims his or her innocence that official has the option to remain in office until convicted or acquitted. I do believe, however, it is important for an elected official to weigh his or her alternatives when they are facing the serious charges. True leadership requires decisions to be made on behalf of the public good, placing the public good before an individual elected official’s own welfare.

"It is time for local, state and national leaders to enact rules of self governance that have consequences if they are broken."


Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For Nov. 21-26

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for Nov. 21-26: Christopher Sterling Holcombe, 38, of 1606 Bussell Place, Fort Oglethorpe was arrested November 20 on charges of possession of firearm at public gathering and possession of firearm by convicted felon.   Atlanta Shannice Dixon, 22, of 2113 Union Avenue, Fort Oglethorpe was arrested November 21 on charges of ... (click for more)

Crime Stoppers: Murder Of James Richard Harris

Crime Stoppers and the Walker County Sheriff’s Office are seeking information on the homicide of James Richard Harris.   On Dec. 22, 1994, at approximately 7:41 a.m., the Walker County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1610 Boss Road in Chickamauga for a body in the driveway. The body was identified as that of 54-year-old James Richard Harris who resided at that address and ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Grand Thanksgiving Feast

I’m not really sure how it all came about but a few days before Thanksgiving last year, what was usually a crowded table had dwindled down to just Mother, Aunt Martha and me. Just the idea of getting dressed up made both of them tired, which happens when you are 89 and 87, respectively, and the thought of preparing the traditional feast brought only further groans so I announced ... (click for more)

Alcoa, A Prep Football Gold Standard, Up Next For Irish

Notre Dame almost had a crack at powerful Alcoa in the 2013 TSSAA football playoff semifinal round. But, in the quarterfinals, Alcoa beat Christian Academy of Knoxville, 42-14, but the Fighting Irish dropped a 19-10 decision to Upperman, which was crushed, 75-18, a week later by the Tornadoes. Alcoa clipped Christ Presbyterian Academy, 25-7, in the state championship game. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Women Shock No.4 Tennessee, 67-63

Before the season started some people across the country called Chattanooga women’s basketball coach Jim Foster crazy for scheduling three top 10 teams – Notre Dame (national runner-up) Stanford and Tennessee - before Christmas. After Wednesday night’s UTC shocking 67-63 home win against No.4 Tennessee before 4,160, those same folks might believe coach Foster is crazy like ... (click for more)