MTAS Attorney Says He Overlooked Section In His Recall Opinion

Friday, September 03, 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."


Many Waldens Ridge Scenes Featured In Stokes Picture Book

A number of early views of Waldens Ridge are among the rarities found in the Stokes Photo Collection. There are many photos of the roads up the mountain showing streetcars, wagons and early autos. There are scenes at Rainbow Lake, Falling Water Falls, Signal Point and other scenic spots. Several photos are included of the Signal Mountain Hotel. The more than 700 photos ... (click for more)

TWRA Officer Charged With Assaulting Father-In-Law

Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained an indictment for a McMinn County man charged with assaulting his father-in-law.   At the request of 10 th  District Attorney General Steve Crump, TBI special agents began investigating William Casey Pittman, an enforcement officer for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, on Sept. 30. During the ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill - And Response

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Policeman’s Prayer

Every year, when the Law Enforcement Foundation of Greater Chattanooga holds its annual luncheon, it is one of the most heartening displays of what America really believes, down deep inside. The most prominent and influential leaders in the community – well over 1,000 -- gather to pay tribute and pledge their support to our heroes in blue who are unfaltering in their devotion, service ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Advances In State Volleyball

SMYRNA, Tenn. – It’s a good thing that Signal Mountain volleyball coach Jennifer Redman is a young lady because her heart might not be able to stand the pressure if she wasn’t. Redman’s Lady Eagles were thisclose to being sent to the loser’s bracket in the opening round of the State Volleyball Tournament here at Stewarts Creek High School Wednesday afternoon. Had it been ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Sweeps Loretto To Open Class A State Volleyball

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Playing what coach Alfie Dodd called a sub-par match, Boyd-Buchanan’s Lady Bucs were still good enough to sweep Loretto, 3-0, Wednesday morning in the opening match of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Class A state volleyball tournament at Blackman High School. Set scores were 25-19, 25-14, 25-20. “We advance and we know we can ... (click for more)