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."



Retro Movie Night At Tennessee Riverpark Friday

The Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department and Outdoor Chattanooga will kick off Labor Day Weekend at the Tennessee Riverpark’s Retro Movie Night Friday night.  The event is free. The public is invited to bring chairs or blankets and watch the movie in the grassy ellipse area near the playgrounds.  Due to licensing restrictions the name of the movie cannot ... (click for more)

Lana's Love Golf Tournament Is Oct. 20

Lana’s Love Golf Tournament will be held at WIndstone Golf Club on Tuesday, Oct. 20.  For more information on the golf tournament, visit the Facebook page .  Lana's Love Foundation was created to help children with cancer and their families have fun.  The foundation provides diversionary therapy (fun) for children with cancer and their families, in ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center May Get Bankruptcy Trustee Who Would Focus On Sale Of Fort Oglethorpe Hospital

Hutcheson Medical Center may be headed for appointment of a bankruptcy trustee, who would focus on the sale of the financially-strapped Fort Oglethorpe hospital. An attorney told a bankruptcy court judge in Rome, Ga., on Wednesday afternoon that a buyer is discussing paying over $20 million for all the assets of the community hospital. Attorney Rob Williamson ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center Unsecured Creditors Committee Asks Trustee Be Appointed For Fort Oglethorpe Hospital; Asks Bankruptcy Not Be Dismissed

The Unsecured Creditors Committee of Hutcheson Medical Center is opposing a motion by U.S. Trustee Guy Gebhardt for a bankruptcy judge to dismiss the bankruptcy for the financially-ailing Fort Oglethorpe hospital.   Instead, the group is asking Judge Paul Bonapfel to appoint a trustee to oversee the Hutcheson finances. In a 16-page motion, the committee said if the bankruptcy ... (click for more)

Who's Responsible For East Ridge's Stadium? - And Response

There just can be no excuse for East Ridge High School's stadium being in such dangerous condition that it has been condemned.   Where is responsible for this? I know there are a few other stadiums like this as well. And there is no excuse for this.  Building new and beautiful schools, state of the art technology. Top athletic facilities as well. Yet, East Ridge ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Five Straight Days Of Football

If I covered my first high school football game as a fledging sports when I was 16 years old, and I am now 66, I figure that’s darn near about a half-century of passes and punts. The mystifying part is that I still get as big of a kick hovering around the game as I did on my very first time so as we usher in the start of the college season with five straight days of games, here ... (click for more)