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.


Red Bank Citizens Urged To Attend Meeting On Flood Risk Maps

A public meeting will be held on Monday, April 13, from 4-7 p.m. with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the DRC building, 1250 Market St. “I can’t convey how important it is for the residents of Red Bank to go,” said City Manager Randall Smith. This will be an opportunity for residents and property owners to review the new preliminary flood risk maps, as well as ... (click for more)

Man Flips Pickup In Cleveland Greenway Creek; Suffers Only Minor Injuries

Authorities said a man flipped his pickup into the Cleveland Greenway creek on Tuesday night, but escaped with only minor injuries. Bradley County EMS responded to a reported single vehicle crash on the greenway in front of Cooke’s Food Store on Keith Street. At 7:20 p.m.. EMS was notified that a vehicle had left the roadway and landed in the creek by the greenway. ... (click for more)

Tennessee Deserves Better Health Reform - And Response

Tennessee needs health care reform. Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," was not the best solution for Tennesseans. That is why the vast majority of Tennessee legislators never publicly supported the plan defeated in a special legislative session in February.   It is important to distinguish health care from health insurance. As one physician ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Insult To Israel

I am deeply saddened that over two dozen members of Congress – all Democrats – will be boycotting a speech by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, when he speaks in Washington tonight. I am also offended that the President of the United States will not receive Netanyahu prior to the speech – a customary gesture on such occasions – because he claims it is too close to ... (click for more)

Double Overtime Thriller: Central Boys Going To State

For all the folks who came to Chattanooga State Tuesday night for the Class AA sectional battle between Livingston Academy and Region 3-AA champ Central, they got their money's worth and more. And they even got some free basketball to boot. Needing a couple of overtimes, the Purple Pounders will be heading to Murfreesboro and MTSU's Murphy Center next week for the TSSAA State ... (click for more)

Blackman Blazes A Trail To State By Bashing Bradley, 55-35

(Story will be updated) MUFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Class AAA state champions are still alive and well. Blackman raced past outmanned Bradley Central, 55-35, Tuesday night in a Class AAA sectional victory that blazed a path right to the boys state tournament at nearby Middle Tennessee State University starting on March 11. The Blaze (24-5) will be making their fourth ... (click for more)