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. 

 



Walker County Arrest Report For Sept. 18-24

Here is the Walker County arrest report for Sept. 18-24: HUBBARD    MICHAEL      ANDREW      W/M    25        OFFICER SCHRADER         FAILURE TO REPORT NAME OR ADDRESS CHANGE, SPEEDING DURHAM      ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AMMONS, ASHTON DEWAYNE  1904 TINSLEY PL Chattanooga, 37404  Age at Arrest: 25 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DISORDERLY CONDUCT --- BIRDSONG, CORDELLIUS LOVETT  4718 METRO PAK LANE HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 19 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DRIVING ON REVOKED, ... (click for more)

Fix Obamacare, Don't Repeal It - And Response (2)

John McCain recently said, "I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full (Congressional Budget ... (click for more)

Roy Exum - ‘Let’s Talk Real Life’

In mid-November of 2015, the Missouri football team very unwisely went on strike. A black student had refused to eat until a list of racially-based demands were met. Some on the football team were sympathetic and it quickly morphed into the biggest catastrophe in the annals of higher education. The university would lose hundreds of millions, athletic donations dropped 72 percent, ... (click for more)

UTC's Arnold Scores Lone Goal In Women's Soccer Win

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga freshman Chloe Arnold’s goal, late in the match proved to be the game winner as the Mocs defeated Western Carolina 1-0 Sunday afternoon in Southern Conference women’s soccer action.   Chattanooga improves to 3-6-2 on the year and 1-1 in SoCon action while the Catamounts move to 3-7-1 overall and 0-2 against the league.   “Hard ... (click for more)

Mocs Volleyball Sweeps UNCG For First SoCon Win

After falling in back-to-back matches at home for the first time since 2014, the Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team rebounded with a convincing 3-0 (25-23, 28-26, 25-18) sweep over UNCG in Maclellan Gymnasium  on Saturday  night.   Following the win, Chattanooga improves to 8-8 overall and 1-1 in the SoCon this season while UNCG falls to 8-6, 1-1 in the conference. ... (click for more)