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."



VIDEO: Chattanooga Dog Balances Wine Glass With Wine On His Head

Ralfi, a whippet and Jack Russell mix residing in Chattanooga, has perfect balance. He can even balance a wine glass on his head - complete with wine in the glass. Ralfi belongs to Jenny Eberhart. (click for more)

Tennessee American Water Invites Residents To Water Fest

Tennessee American Water invites area residents to its upcoming Water Fest on Thursday. The open house is free and includes plant tours, educational demonstrations, children’s activities, face painting and refreshments. In addition several community partners will be on-hand to show how water is connected to almost everything we do.  “We are excited to host this first-ever ... (click for more)

Man, 28, Shot And Killed In East Chattanooga

A 28-year-old man was shot and killed in East Chattanooga early Friday morning. The victim was identified as Jeremy Clark, a brother of House candidate Dennis Clark. Dennis Clark said, "Jeremy, a beloved son, my younger brother and dear friend to many, was taken from us too soon. The pain from our sudden and tragic loss is Indescribable. He was a compassionate and fun-loving ... (click for more)

Siedlecki Files Amended Financial Disclosure After GOP Files Complaint; Lists Personal Loan Rather Than In-Kind Contribution

Democratic assessor of property candidate Mark Siedlecki filed an amended financial disclosure form on Friday afternoon after county Republicans said he accepted far above the legal limit from a corporation he heads. The new disclosure said he made personal loans totaling $38,288 to the campaign. It does not include any in-kind contributions. The earlier forms listed ... (click for more)

Olympic Events On The Ocoee River Made History – But It Wasn’t Easy

It started with a simple “what if” question while Atlanta officials were working on a bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.  A group of amateur kayakers from the city began asking themselves: “What if Atlanta’s bid is successful? Then where would the Olympic whitewater canoe and kayak races be held?”  To some of the members of that group, the answer was obvious. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Don’t Kick A Man’s Neck

From the minute my brothers and I each became cognizant, my dad started teaching us the rules of becoming a man. Dad was from deep in Mississippi and he’d been taught a lot of life’s secrets from his father. These lessons have been passed for generations and, the older I have become, I’m convinced a lot of them were borne from The Sermon on the Mount. Our favorite, back in the ... (click for more)