County Commission Votes Down Request By Magistrate Ables On Accumulated Leave; Magistrates Put On Strict Timeclock

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The County Commission on Wednesday voted 6-3 to deny a request by Magistrate Larry Ables that he be able to cash out 787 hours of annual leave at this time.

He has been serving as chief magistrate. The commission recently retained him as a magistrate, but elevated Randy Russell to chief magistrate. The chief magistrate is paid $5,000 more than the other three magistrates.

County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said Magistrate Ables had computed that he would make $2,000 more if paid at this time for service since November 2008 rather than waiting later under the reduced pay level.

Personnel Director Leslie Longshore said for general county government employees the accumulated leave is based on the pay level when they leave the county. Attorney Taylor said he assumes that Magistrate Ables is going to continue working as a magistrate in the reduced role starting Nov. 1.

Commissioners had a number of questions about the request. Commissioner Tim Boyd said at 787 hours "you would have to believe that he didn't take a single day off." Ms. Longshore said there may have been some prior accumulated leave time, though she said leave is not transferred from the district attorney's office. Both she and Magistrate Ables formerly were in the DA's office.

Commissioner Joe Graham asked, "Who verified these hours?" Ms. Longshore said no payments would be made until they had all been verified.

Commissioner Jim Fields said he would not favor giving one benefit to one county employee that others do not receive (getting to count the accumulated leave at a higher rate before going to a lower rate).

Voting against the request were Commissioners Boyd, Fields, Graham, Chester Bankston, Warren Mackey and Larry Henry. 

Commissioner Fred Skillern said he wanted to see the magistrates put on a strict timeclock. He said he was tired of "three-hour lunch breaks and going to civic club meetings" while on duty.

Ms. Longshore said the magistrates will be moving soon to a new Web Punch system whereby employees clock in and out on county computers. That will replace paper time sheets.

The commission passed a resolution saying that the magistrates must be on the timeclock and must clock out "each time they leave the premises."

The magistrates set bonds and sign warrants from an office at the county jail.

 

 


Chattanooga Cocaine Dealer, Who Said He Did It To Support His 7 Kids, Given 10-Year Federal Sentence

A Chattanooga cocaine dealer, who said he did it to support his seven kids, was ordered Monday to serve 10 years in federal prison. Reginald Dewayne McKenzie, who is originally from Atlanta and whose family is there, appeared before Judge Sandy Mattice. His attorney, Anthony Martinez of the Federal Defender's Office, said McKenzie finished high school and some college. ... (click for more)

Warren County Man Added To TBI's Top 10 Most Wanted List

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has a new addition to the state’s Top 10 Most Wanted list, Bryan James Cooke, 39, of McMinnville. Cooke is wanted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Warren County Sheriff’s Department. On June 29, Gail and Gary Dodson were found deceased in their residence in Warren County. They were discovered after employees at their restaurant ... (click for more)

Six Commissioners Owe Us An Explanation - And Response (2)

Two-thirds of the Hamilton County Commission owe us an explanation as to why they feel it appropriate to take $900,000 of our money out of savings to spend on whatever suits their fancy, oversight be darned.  Those six commissioners are: Randy Fairbanks (D-1), Jim Fields (D-2), Warren Mackey (D-4), Sabrena Turner-Smedley (D-7), Tim Boyd (D-8), and Chester Bankston (D-9).  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mr. Murray’s Great Note

In the last several days I have received hundreds of emails after I took a stand for General Nathan Beford Forrest, the South’s rich history, and the indelible fact the War Between The States is still a big part of who were are and what we have become. For the record, as of late yesterday afternoon, I have not heard from one dissenter, although I know there are some who I believe ... (click for more)

Fort Oglethorpe Swimmers Get First Win Of Season

There are a lot of positive and upbeat coaches in the Chattanooga Area Swim League, but perhaps none any more than Fort Oglethorpe veteran Tony Womac. This guy is always happy, always smiling and always offering something positive to those around him. He may have been just a bit more of all the above on Monday night after his Marlins defeated the Cumberland Currents in a home ... (click for more)

John Shearer: A Look At The Origin Of The Lady Vols’ Name

On Wednesday, the University of Tennessee is scheduled to drop the Lady Vols nickname from all women’s sports teams except the basketball squad.   The change has been a source of much debate, particularly in Knoxville. As evidence, several people wanting to keep the Lady Vols name protested last Thursday along Joe Johnson Drive, near where the UT board of trustees was meeting ... (click for more)