Cases Logjammed In Steelman Division Of Criminal Court As Public Defender Files Recusals On All Cases

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cases are backing up in Judge Barry Steelman's division of Criminal Court as Public Defender Ardena Garth daily files motions to have the judge go off all her office's cases.

Ms. Garth on Monday morning handed another stack of indigent cases to the clerk for Judge Steelman, saying the office wanted another judge on those matters.

She claims that Judge Steelman is biased against her office.

So far, she has filed for recusals in over 50 cases starting the middle of last week.

Judge Steelman has set a hearing next Monday afternoon on the mass recusals.

The confrontation apparently began when Judge Steelman put down an order transferring the capital case involving Jesse Mathews from the public defender's office to private attorneys Lee Davis and Bryan Hoss. Judge Steelman was critical of assistant public defenders Mary Ann Green and Karla Gothard in that order.

He was also critical of the public defender's office last week at a hearing on a request by Ms. Green for recusal in the kidnapping case of Frederick Anderson.

At one point in the hearing, he called one action by Ms. Green in the case "sloppy" and, at another, he asked Ms. Garth and Ms. Green if they were taping the hearing. When Ms. Garth asked if she had to answer, he had her stand up and take an oath. She did so, then said she did not have a tape recorder on her. 

On Monday, Judge Steelman asked several indigent defendants if they had been told about the recusal motions. Ms. Garth objected to such questions, saying that got into the area of attorney-client privilege.

Ms. Garth declined to answer the judge if she would object to proceeding with cases in which pleas had already been worked out with the district attorney's office. She said the next move was a decision by the judge on the recusal motions.

Judge Steelman said continuing to put the cases off meant that some clients would have to stay in jail longer and it would involve more costs for the county to incarcerate them.

Some clients of the Transformation Project had their cases worked out and had been set to be released on Monday, it was stated. However, those cases were delayed with all the other public defender matters. 

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANDERSON, JACOB QUINTON  1101 NORMAN CHAPEL ROAD NW CLEVELAND, 37312  Age at Arrest: 21 years old Arresting Agency: Collegedale Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- BEMUS, GREGORY EDWARD  185 MOCKINGBIRD DRIVE DUNLAP, 37327  Age at Arrest: 52 years old Arresting Agency: ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Boy Scouts And Families Place Flags At National Cemetery

Boy Scouts and their families placed flags at the National Cemetery  Saturday  to honor veterans. (click for more)

Silence Ain’t Golden Anymore

There are times – moments – in life that you never forget. That night in 1972, sleeping over at my buddy Bart’s house, was one of them. We had been to a middle school concert and his big brother was in the band (very cool stuff for a 14-year-old!) and as we lay on the floor in our sleeping bags in Bart’s room he said he wanted to play a record that his brother listened to. And, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Memorial Day In Just Six Seconds

John Kelly, who is now our Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, was among the greatest of all generals in United States history as a leader in the Marine Corps. In 2010 he was speaking to the Marine Corps’ Semper Fi Society in St. Louis when – towards the end of his talk – he offered what I believe is the most brilliant explanation of what Memorial Day is that I have ... (click for more)

Lookouts Clobber Biscuits Sunday, 9-2, To Complete Series

The Chattanooga Lookouts bats exploded for nine runs in a 9-2 victory over the Montgomery Biscuits in front of a crowd of 4,527 at AT&T Field. The second place Lookouts trail the Tennessee Smokies by 1 1/2 games. After a scoreless first inning, the Lookouts offense kicked into gear. Outfielder Travis Harrison led off the innings with a double and scored on a double ... (click for more)

Clarke, Lom Score In CFC Win Over Chivas U-23

After playing 75 minutes to a scoreless tie, Chattanooga Football Club's Darwin Lom scored the first goal giving CFC a 1-0 lead.  The second goal came six minutes later when Charlie Clarke headed in a cross to close out the scoring.  The Liga MX U-23 team had alot of support from the local crowd but could not find the back of the net.  The win is CFC's first ... (click for more)