Anita Ebersole Withdraws Name For City Court Clerk; Littlefield Calls Judges Paty, Bean "Unprofessional"

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Anita Ebersole told members of the City Council on Tuesday afternoon that she is withdrawing her name as the appointee for City Court Clerk due to controversy over the appointment by Mayor Ron Littlefield.

Judges Russell Bean and Sherry Paty had opposed the appointment, saying the mayor was naming his administrative assistant to the post so she could get higher retirement pay. They said the appointment should be made by the new mayor.

Ms. Ebersole told council members she did not want to put them in the position of having to vote on whether her appointment should be confirmed.

"No vote is necessary," she said.

She denied that the move was aimed at giving her a higher retirement, saying that is based on her highest three years of salary, which she has already vested.

Ms. Ebersole said the clerk's office "is not under the judges. It's under the department of finance." She said Finance Director Daisy Madison had asked her several weeks ago to consider taking the post. She said she eventually agreed, and she paid her own way for a training course on municipal courts.

She defended her "work ethic, skills and experience" and said she often works late to help city constituents.  She said she hopes to continue in some position with the city.

Mayor Littlefield then was critical of the two judges, saying they have "behaved very unprofessionally" in the matter of the clerk appointment.

He said the judges had opposed numerous ideas for improving the court, including a recent plan to make the office paperless. He said, in response, he had told them "they can keep their paper and rubber stamps for as long as they want."

Mayor Littlefield said of city court, "There is no more glaring example of office inefficiency" and he said that was mainly due to the judges. He said he "gets depressed" when he visits the "grim operation."  

Judges Bean and Paty then sought to respond, but Council Chairwoman Pam Ladd cut off the discussion soon after the mayor's remarks and after comments by Councilwoman Deborah Scott, saying there had been a concerted move to do away with city court.

Councilwoman Scott said, "We heard the executive administration give this damnation of the city court judges and we are not going to give the city judges a chance to respond."

Judge Bean had spoken earlier before the mayor, saying, "This is not about Anita Ebersole. She's a nice lady."

Ms. Ladd said it was not the time for a full discussion on the city court operation and there was a long agenda ahead. She said, "Judge Paty, the discussion has gotten far out of where it needed to be. We are going to get into back and forth and back and forth."

She said all sides "were wrong to say these things in public about each other. You ought to do it in private."

Judge Bean said later, "I've been run out of better places."

He said, "I've been a judge for 13 years and I have always had a great relationship with the mayors through the Kinsey and Corker terms and for the first term of Mayor Littlefield. Then everything changed with the McKamey Animal Center case when the mayor called Sherry and she reported him.

"Since then he has continually come up with things to keep the court in turmoil. All I want to do is do my job."

Judge Bean said of the decision not to let the judges speak, "I certainly don't rule that way, and Sherry doesn't rule that way in court. We always let both sides have their say."  

Judge Paty said, "It's amazing that he could continue his tirade for five minutes and we weren't allowed to speak."

She said of the outgoing mayor, "10,000-plus people who wanted to recall him can't be wrong."
 

 


Webb Arrested For Helping Another Man Steal Items From His Grandfather's House

Dylon Webb, 22, was arrested for burglary after helping another man steal items from his grandfather’s house, police said. Officers spoke to victim David Harvey, 63, who believed it was his grandson who had broken into his house, resulting in the theft of several items, including a .22 caliber rifle. Police said they also spoke to Webb’s mother who told them it was her ... (click for more)

Ryan Burton, 26, Arrested After Ripping Off Part Of Roommate’s Ear

R yan Burton, 26, was arrested after ripping off the bottom part of his roommate’s ear during an altercation in March, police said. Officers spoke to Burton’s three roommates at 434 Whitehall Road, where they said they had been living with the suspect for more than six months and never known him to be violent. One of the roommates, Garrett Forster, told police that the ... (click for more)

Judge Steelman Was Unfairly Criticized In Handling Of School Bus Driver Rape Case - And Response

We are blessed to have freedom of speech in our society, but I am always amazed at the number of folks who voice such strong antagonistic opinions about things without any apparent first-hand knowledge.   As any who wish to criticize the system should know, people get arrested and charged for criminal offenses every day.  The ultimate charge and penalty which results ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote For Rhonda Thurman

After studying the Hamilton County School Board quite harshly during the last seven most-tumultuous months in its history, it is only proper that I share my belief that Rhonda is its Most Valuable Player. Four of the school board’s nine members are up for re-election, with Rhonda facing capable opponents in Jason Moses and Dr. Patti Skates in District 1, but let’s never forget that ... (click for more)

Lookouts Snap Losing Streak With 8-4 Win Over Smokies

Homeruns by Edgar Corcino and Mitch Garver helped lead the Lookouts over the Tennessee Smokies by a score of 8-4. Tennessee jumped out to an early 3-1 lead against Lookouts starting pitcher Kohl Stewart.  Though his ERA went up a little bit to 3.38, Stewart improved to 5-4 on the season. The right-hander gave up three runs (two earned) on seven hits over five innings. He ... (click for more)

TSSAA Sets Future Division I, Division II Classifications

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Board of Control has released the minutes from Wednesday’s meeting in Hermitage pertaining to football classification period for the 2017-18 and run through 2020-2021 1.  Roll Call 2.  Division I and Division II Classification The Board of Control voted the following for the classification period that ... (click for more)