Yager Wins Senate Approval For Judicial Diversion Bill

Bill To Make Criminal Acts Conducted By Appointed Or Elected Public Officials Ineligible For Judicial Diversion

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Tennessee State Senate gave final approval on Monday night to legislation sponsored by Senator Ken Yager (R-Harriman) which makes state or local officials who have committed a crime during their term of office ineligible for consideration of either pre-trial or judicial diversion. 

Judicial diversion is the process in criminal law when a person pleads guilty to a crime and can later have the charge removed (or expunged) from their record following a period of probation. It is granted by the judge, hence its name “judicial.” 

“Tennessee is blessed with good state and local officials,” said Senator Yager.  “I dare say that 99 percent of the men and women who hold office are conscientious and hardworking.  It is really the one percent of officials who have abused the trust given to them who should not be allowed to have their slate wiped clean by either pre trial or judicial diversion.” 

A person is eligible for judicial diversion in Tennessee if they do not have a previous class A misdemeanor, felony conviction, or never received diversion or had their record expunged before.  Those charged with a class A felony, a class B felony, a sexual offense, or a DUI are not eligible for judicial diversion under state law.  Senate Bill 2566 would simply add a criminal offense committed by an official in the executive, legislative or judicial branch to the list of those which are ineligible for judicial diversion, if the crime was committed in their official capacity or involve the duties of their office.

“As officials, we ask for these jobs,” Senator Yager said. “The citizens who allow us to serve do not expect us to solve every problem, but they do expect us to exercise good judgment and to stay honest.  We have all heard that adage that a public office is a public trust. Public officials must be held to a higher standard.  The privilege of diversion should not be allowed to wipe the slate clean of an official who has disgraced himself during his or her tenure in office.”

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives where it is sponsored by Representative Ryan Haynes (R-Knoxville). It is scheduled for a hearing in the House Judicial Subcommittee on Wednesday.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADKINS, ANGELA KAY  169 SEAL BEAN LANE DAYTON, 37321  Age at Arrest: 48 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY UNLAWFUL REMOVAL OF REGISTRATION PLATE --- BALL, JEFFREY BRENT  1309 LABREA DR CHATT, 37421  ... (click for more)

County Property Taxes Are Due Feb. 28; Trustee's Office Announces Extended Hours

County Trustee Bill Hullander is reminding taxpayers that Feb. 28, will be the last day to pay their 2016 property taxes without interest and penalty.  The regular office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. As an added convenience for the taxpayer, the courthouse office and the Preservation Drive office will be open on Saturday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., ... (click for more)

Judge Doug Meyer Lived A Full Life Helping Many

I was sadden to learn of the death of Judge Doug Meyer.  Judge Meyer retired from the Criminal Court bench here in 2006.  Prior to that he had been the Chattanooga city judge for several years.  As a young attorney I tried many cases in front of Judge Meyer.  Also while I was awaiting my case to be tried, I would observe him on the bench.  Judge Meyer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Blackburn Good As Gone

I didn’t know until I read John Adams’ column in the Knoxville News-Sentinel that one person who doesn't personally know UTC Athletic Director David Blackburn said he heard he has a drinking problem. I also didn’t know that “the best thing to ever happen to UTC athletics” had health problems, according to a second person who does not personally know him. It is also being said David ... (click for more)

MVP Howard Leads Bradley To Seventh Straight District 5-3A Tourney Title

Two key Bradley Central scoring sprees spelled basketball doom for East Hamilton in Monday’s District 5-3A tournament championship game at Soddy-Daisy. One, the top-ranked and unbeaten Bearettes (29-0) went on a 15-1 to close the second quarter, building a 37-20 halftime lead. Two, Bradley Central started the third period on a 22-6 run and extended the lead to 59-26 and ... (click for more)

Brainerd Girls, Howard Boys Win 6-AA Consolations

It was consolation night at Hixson High School for the District 6-AA basketball tournament and East Ridge came out on the short end in both games. Brainerd’s girls rallied for a 39-35 win in the first game while Howard’s Hustlin’ Tigers did enough at the end to hold off the East Ridge boys by a 61-57 final. The tournament concludes on Tuesday with both championship games. ... (click for more)