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.



Copies Of Remaining Chattanooga Photo Books Available At Zarzour's Restaurant; By Mail

Remaining copies of the Chattanooga Photo books are available at Zarzours Restaurant on Rossville Avenue off Main Street. It is near Fire Hall #1. They include the Remarkable Stokes Collection, Railroads In and Around Chattanooga, and Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga.  All were published by Chattanoogan.com.  and printed by College Press at Collegedale. The ... (click for more)

Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news.  Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like ... (click for more)

Stormwater Fiasco And East Ridge Camping

When did the Chattanooga City Council get replaced by members of the East Ridge City Council? I don't recall a time in Chattanooga where they've voted to shoot the city in the foot more than they have lately.  If this goes through despite the environmental impact warnings and then Camp Jordan has increased flooding after spending millions on sports ball fields, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

The best story this Thanksgiving comes from the New Jersey Turnpike where a very attractive young woman ran out of gas last month. Kate McClure had little cash on her as she began to walk towards the closest gas station in the pitch-black dark. But she didn’t get far before a homeless man, his beard ragged and clothes filthy, told her this was a bad place for her to be.  ... (click for more)

Tyner Rams Advance To Class AA State Final

ROCKWOOD – It wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t easy, but the Tyner Rams will be playing for a state football championship in Class AA next Friday afternoon in Cookeville. Facing the Rockwood Tigers here at Tom Pemberton Stadium Friday night, the Rams showed what they’re really made of as they drove for the winning touchdown in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter to ... (click for more)

Streaking Alcoa Wraps Up 34-0 Semifinal Win Over Red Bank

Powerful Alcoa, a perennial state championship contender, defeated visiting Red Bank, 34-0, Friday night and returned to the TSSAA title game for the fifth straight year. The Tornadoes (12-2) dominated Friday’s Class 3A semifinal contest just like it did in two regular-season games against the Lions (11-3). Alcoa beat Red Bank in 2016 and 2015 by a combined 76-0. Alcoa, ... (click for more)