Smith Hits 10% Requested Increase In Public Defender's Budget

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Steve Smith, Republican candidate for Hamilton County public defender, pledged at Monday's Pachyderm Club meeting that he "will hire effective lawyers, if elected, rather than repeatedly seeking out money from the Hamilton County Commission."

"The justice system must be effective on both sides, the prosecution and the defense," Mr. Smith said. "Throwing more money at the problem in this instance is perpetuating the problem."

He said the 24-year incumbent, Ardena Garth, requested a $64,367 increase in Mayor Jim Coppinger's budget submitted for County Commission approval in May.

"A request for just over 10 percent more in spending of the total budget should concern citizens," said Mr. Smith. "The criminal justice system is growing at an unprecedented pace."

Mr. Smith, who has been an assistant in the office of Hamilton County District Attorney Bill Cox since 2006, said, "Most citizens will never use the office of the public defender, but your tax dollars need to be carefully managed to reduce trial times, decreasing the amount of time the indigent spend in jail unnecessarily, and to ensure effective legal representation."



World War II USS LST 325 Comes To Chattanooga Sept. 11-17

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Free Downtown Meter Parking On Labor Day

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Reception Honors County's 2nd-Longest Serving Employee

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Vote No On Health Insurance Changes Affecting County Teachers

Our Hamilton County School Board will vote on insurance changes effecting both active employees and retirees, who are not on Medicare at this time.  HCEA strongly objects to changes being made at this time and urges a “No” vote.  Insurance had been frozen three years by negotiations.  Since the Educators Professional Negotiations Act was nullified by the 2011 Legislature, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)