MTAS Attorney Says He Overlooked Section In His Recall Opinion

Friday, September 3, 2010

An attorney for the Municipal Technical Assistance Service (MTAS) who earlier said state law trumps the city of Chattanooga charter on recall matters ackownledged he overlooked a key factor in his decision.

Sidney Hemsley, senior law consultant, said in a letter today to election office attorney Chris Clem, "I do agree that the re-enactment of the city of Chattanooga charter after July 1, 1997, satisfies the 'contrary charter provision' requirement contained in TCA 2-5-151 with respect to the number of signatures required on the recall petition."

Attorney Hemley, in an earlier eight-page opinion, said those carrying out the recall in Chattanooga needed to follow the more stringent state law.

That would have required them to collect 15 percent of the signatures of registered voters instead of the city's standard of at least 50 percent of those who voted for mayor in the last general election. It would have meant about 15,000 names in the recall of Mayor Ron Littlefield as opposed to fewer than 9,000 under the city charter.

The opinion was requested by Council Chairman Manny Rico, who is one of the recall targets.

Attorney Hemsley also said in the letter to attorney Clem, "I relied on the historical citations contained at the end of the recall provision in Section 3.18 of the Chattanooga city charter without further ensuring that there had been no re-enactments of that charter since 1997, a mistake worse in view of the fact that I had the Chattanooga Municipal Code in front of me, which contained the charter and information regarding updates to the charter since Brown v. Board of Commissioners, a case with which I was already familiar.

"I apologize for any consternation my opinion caused to the government and people of Chattanooga and the Hamilton County Election Commission with respect to the mathematical requirements for the recall petition, and I do appreciate your calling the charter re-enactment to my attention."


Chattanooga Police Department Announces Surge Week Enforcement Effort Totals

The Chattanooga Police Department has identified certain times of the year when it sees the biggest spikes in crime. Officials refer to these time periods as “Surge Weeks.”  In effort to combat criminal activity, CPD concentrates its efforts in the most vulnerable places while still meeting the needs of calls for service. The first Surge Week of 2017 recently concluded. ... (click for more)

Witnesses Say Jablonski Slugged Waffle House Cook, Ran Over Man In Parking Lot, Stole Car, Then Put Gun To Face Of Man At Duplex

Witnesses testified on Tuesday that 34-year-old Theodore Jablonski slugged a Waffle House cook, stole a car, ran over a man twice with the car, then went to a Hixson duplex and put a gun to a man who was lying in bed.   A host of charges were bound to the Grand Jury against Jablonski by General Sessions Court Judge Christie Sell.   She also ordered ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oh Yes, I Loved West

One of my most beloved friends died early Saturday morning at the age of 67. Then again, West Oehmig’s only brother – King – died a couple of years ago at 63 so it wasn’t by happenstance I remembered Abraham Lincoln’s famous line: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” Here are two brothers who lived larger than any other pair I can ... (click for more)

Central's Parrott Throttles Ooltewah With 1-Hit Shutout

Ooltewah looked like it was still on spring break. Central was sharp, Brooke Parrott dazzling, Mikayla Gill swung the bat well and the Lady Pounders played like an unbeaten, once-tied ballclub. Parrott threw a one-hit shutout – the hit was a wind-blown pop on the infield – and Gill slapped a two-run double off Kayla Boseman to right-center field in the third inning and ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Thumps Bledsoe Co., 11-1

The Notre Dame baseball team was in a race of a different kind Monday evening and the Fighting Irish came out on top in all three categories. Facing the Bledsoe County Warriors at Notre Dame’s Hunter Field, the Irish beat the rain, they got finished before dark and most importantly, beat the Warriors 11-1 in five innings as they improved to 4-2 overall with the same record in ... (click for more)