Pam Ladd Offers To Referee Latest Dispute Between Littlefield, City Judges

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

City Council Chair Pam Ladd said Tuesday night she is willing to step in and referee the latest dispute between Mayor Ron Littlefield and City Judges Sherry Paty and Russell Bean.

Judge Paty sent an email to the council members, saying the administration was moving ahead with a plan to convert the City Court Clerk's office to a paperless system, though the judges asked that the process not start until a new mayor can appoint a new City Court clerk.

Council members took up the controversy at the close of the City Council meeting, and Councilwoman Deborah Scott asked Finance Director Daisy Madison if the process could not start with another department.

Ms. Madison said it was, "but it's not my call. The administration sets the priorities."

Councilman Jack Benson said when a motion was made to approve a firm to move a number of city departments to a paperless system that council members recommended that the administration not start with City Court since the judges wanted to hold up. But he said the motion was advisory and "the mayor has the right to do as he pleases."

Councilman Andrae McGary asked Assistant City Attorney Phil Noblett if the council could withhold funding for the project if it chooses, and he said the council could.

Councilman Peter Murphy said it made sense to start with City Court since he said paperwork from a number of offices - including the police and Neighborhood Services - wind up there.  

Ms. Ladd said she would like to see the administration and the judges sit down and try to work out a solution, and she said she would be glad to sit in on the meeting if necessary.

She said, "Let's see if they can resolve whatever concerns there are and get this moving."

Judge Paty said in her email to the council:

Dear Council Members,

I am forwarding an email and attachment regarding meetings that are being set up between Armedia and the City Court Clerk’s office. As you will recall, you approved this contract with Armedia with the understanding that City Court and the Clerk’s office would not be the first department to implement this initiative. It appears to be moving forward without our approval nor the approval of the Council. Judge Bean and I made it clear that we do not want to implement any paperless initiative until we have a new administration in place. We also stated that Armedia should begin with another department other than City Court since this company has never implemented a paperless initiative in a Court system. I wanted to make you aware of these meetings, since this is in complete disregard of the conditions upon which you approved this contract.

Sherry Paty

City Court Judge

She was responding to an email from Ken Hymes of the Armedia firm chosen to implement the process.

It said:

All, attached is the proposed interview schedule for the week of Feb. 25. We are planning to conclude interviews in an hour (or less). I’ve tried to arrange the schedule to fall within your standard working hours but with time set aside in the morning to “settle in” before we start! As was discussed earlier today, this schedule is flexible and can be modified to accommodate work schedules, prior commitments, etc. Please feel free to suggest appropriate changes that will allow us to canvas all the identified persons between Monday and Thursday. Once we get this finalized, I hope you can put these interviews on the calendars of each individual so the time is booked.

 

We understand we will have a room to interview in/work in that is inside the Court Clerks area, and we will bring our projector and hotspot to use that week.

 

Thanks in advance for your help with planning and scheduling the interviews and logistics! Looking forward to seeing you on Feb. 25. Regards,

Judge Paty said she and Judge Bean will be at Judicial Conference at the time their educational session was planned.

She said, "I am not opposed to the clerk's office going paperless, but it should not be started during this administration without a permanent City Court clerk in place."

Mayor Littlefield and the judges have clashed over a number of issues since Judge Paty accused the mayor of trying to interfere in her handling of a case involving a Hamilton Place Mall pet store.

 



Top Hamilton County School Salaries 2017

Here are the top salaries at the Hamilton County Schools for central office personnel and principals: (click for more)

Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news.  Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like us ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Myth And Fact Check

My husband and I recently had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Chattanooga. I listened as my husband told the audience about how his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine and how she died from the disease when he was fourteen. As a child, my husband didn’t understand what breast cancer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘All Hat, No Cattle’

A very long time ago there was a philosopher in Greece named Plato. He was really good at it; founded the first organized school in the world, this around 400 BC. He is also thought to be the founder of spirituality, which later became Christianity, and had a dandy bunch of other great ideas. He was taught by Socrates and then Plato, in turn, taught young Aristotle. He was evermore ... (click for more)

UT Coach: Tennessee Not OK Being 3-4; Butch Jones Not OK Being 3-4

Embattled Tennessee football coach Butch Jones met with members of the media on Monday, a couple of days after the Vols lost to Alabama, 45-7. It was Tennessee’s fourth loss in five games and UT is an early 5 ½-point underdog to rival Kentucky on Saturday. The Vols are 31-1 against Kentucky since 1985, with the only loss, a 10-7 defeat, coming in 2011. Tennessee leads the overall ... (click for more)

No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs Aim To Break Losing Streak Against Florida In Jacksonville Saturday

On the surface, Georgia would seem to have a lot going for it heading into Saturday’s game against Florida in Jacksonville, a site that hasn’t been too kind for the team in red and black over the last quarter of a century. The third-ranked Bulldogs enter having won its last three games by an average margin of victory of 32.3 points. Florida needs a win to avoid its third ... (click for more)