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."



Accreditation Assessment Team Invites Public Comment On Cleveland Police Department

A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. will arrive on Monday to examine all aspects of the Cleveland Police Department’s policy an procedures, management, operations and support services, Interim Chief Mark Gibson announced on Friday. Verification by the team that the Cleveland Police Department meets the commission’s state-of-the-art ... (click for more)

7600 Block Of Middle Valley Road To Be Closed For A Week Beginning Thursday

The 7600 block of Middle Valley Road will be closed to through traffic at Jed Lane starting on Thursday June 4 for one week for utility construction.  Detour signs will be posted. (click for more)

Apartment Fire Leaves 2 Homeless Friday Evening

Chattanooga firefighters responded to an apartment fire just before  7 p.m. on Friday . Six fire companies responded to the fire, at 2709 Citico Ave. Battalion Chief Rick Sewell said heavy smoke was showing in Apartment 5 in Building B when the first firefighters arrived, and flames were shooting out a front window. Chief Sewell said the firefighters made an aggressive ... (click for more)

Fricks Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Cornerstone Community Bank In Dalton

Grady Wayne Fricks has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges arising out of a scheme to defraud Cornerstone Community Bank in Dalton, Ga. “This defendant used his connection with a bank insider to obtain a fraudulently inflated loan,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn. “Fricks’ ability to manipulate people to further his scheme left the bank and its stockholders shouldering ... (click for more)

Best City, Really?

I believe the success Chattanooga has had in the best outdoor city contest has got to be the "Ridge Cut" trail. To be able to sit in your vehicle while inching along right beside the old steel plant and, of course, the train yard where tankers sit loaded with hazardous gases. Then passing through one of the city's most active areas for gunfire, it's a win win.   It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: City Limits Worry Dogs, Cats

If you are a dog or a cat in the Chattanooga area, it is very important to know exactly where the city limits are. You need to know that if a stray animal is rescued in the city, it is taken to one of the finest animal shelters in all of America. But if the errant pooch or tabby is found in Hamilton County – outside the city limits -- it is taken to arguably the worst animal facility ... (click for more)