Attorneys Step In "Pro Bono" To Help Judge Steelman As Public Defender Garth Continues Recusal Motions

Friday, August 24, 2012
Attorney Mitch Carter volunteers to take case for Judge Barry Steelman
Attorney Mitch Carter volunteers to take case for Judge Barry Steelman

Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman, whose cases have been piling up since Public Defender Ardena Garth began filing recusal motions en masse, got some help Friday.

It was arraignment day in which a large new batch of public defender cases were on the docket.

Ms. Garth was in the courtroom continuing to step aside on all new cases, saying in an earlier motion that Judge Steelman has been "venomous" toward her office.

Attorney Bill Speek said he lined up a group of lawyers willing to handle the cases without charge.

He said, "I just didn't want people sitting in jail for another 28 days before they would get another attorney appointed."

Attorney Speek said he handled a couple of Steelman public defender cases, including one "who was just charged with misdemeanors. I was able to set his cases quickly."

Those on the Speek list included his partner Gerald Webb, Christy Mincy, Stan Lanzo, Mary Sullivan Moore, Keith Black, Lloyd Levitt, Clancy Covert and Mike West.

When the list was announced, several other attorneys in the courtroom stood up and said they wanted to be included also.

During the arraignment, other attorneys approached the bench from time to time and told Judge Steelman they would work "pro bono" as well.

The judge began taking advantage of the multiple offers and began parceling out indigent cases to the volunteers.

Judge Steelman has set a hearing for Monday afternoon on the recusal motions.

Public Defender Ardena Garth at defense table
Public Defender Ardena Garth at defense table

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Farm To Table To Dollars

I recently hosted a discussion with local business leaders, Andy Berke, mayor of Chattanooga, and Heather McTeer Toney, southeast regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We had an important conversation about the role of the business community in combating climate change. As the owner of 212 Market Restaurant in downtown Chattanooga, I’ve experienced ... (click for more)

Moc Golfers Finish 10th At Tar Heel Intercollegiate

The Chattanooga Mocs men’s golf team finished 10th at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate today. The Mocs shot 871 over their 54 holes to end up ahead of Charlotte and Mercer in 11th and 12th, respectively. “We’re not pleased with this finish, but we are making progress,” said coach Mark Guhne. “We just didn’t get the low round on the second or third day. If we get that low round, we ... (click for more)

Lady Mocs Soccer Loses 6-0 At Vanderbilt

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga freshman keeper Hannah Dunn (Cookeville, Tenn.) made 16 saves in the Mocs 6-0 loss to Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon at the Vanderbilt Soccer/Lacrosse Complex. “Hannah was amazing,” UTC head coach J.D. Kyzer “There may have been just one or two shots that came right to her, but every other one she had to make the save and she showed up big.” ... (click for more)