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.

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAUTISTA, DOMINGO  1252 27TH STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 28 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County DRIVING WITHOUT DRIVERS LICENSE / EXPIRED LICENSE LIGHT LAW VIOLATION REGISTRATION, EXPIRED --- BELL, ISRAEL N  7506 SNOWHILL ROAD OOLTEWAH, 37363  Age at Arrest: ... (click for more)

Watson Caught In Minnis Road Burglary In Bradley County; Garza Still At Large

Accused burglar Shawn Timothy Watson remains in the Bradley County Jail while detectives expand their search for an alleged accomplice, Jared Samuel Garza, 27.   Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson said Garza and Timothy Watson, 24, of Scenic Drive, are suspects in the forced entry to a residence on Minnis Road that was reported to the sheriff’s office on June 24. ... (click for more)

Police Need To Stop The Road Cowboys - And Response

Where is our highway patrol?  If they were known to regularly patrol our interstate highways through our city I don't think it would take long before the "truckers" were aware of it.  There are places in our country where this is the case.   When I have traveled Interstates 24 and 75 I may see the occasional car pulled over but rarely if ever is it an 18-wheeler. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Never Disturb The Dead

I’ve got too many things in my life that scare me so I’ve always been real leery of “unnecessary fear.” A guy named Terry wanted to teach me how to catch a live rattlesnake one time but had a tough time telling me what exactly to do with the angry serpent when the time came to let it go. I have the same view of these paranormal societies where otherwise sane people go around looking ... (click for more)

Miguel Sano To Join Byron Buxton As Second Lookout To Join Twins

MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger first reported the promotion Wednesday afternoon, saying a "well-placed source" revealed that the right-handed Sano would be coming up. Sano, 22, is batting .274 with 15 homers, 48 RBIs, five steals and a .374 on-base percentage in 66 games with Chattanooga this year. He leads the Southern League with 55 runs scored, ranks second in homers, second ... (click for more)

Madison Hayes To Compete In National Pitch, Hit and Run Compitition

    Ooltewah's Madison Hayes is one of 24 national finalists for the 2015 Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run program presented by Scotts, the official youth skills competition of Major League Baseball, were announced Monday live on MLB  Tonight  on MLB Network. These 24 boys and girls will compete at the National Finals and participate in ... (click for more)