Change Is Needed In The Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office

Monday, July 14, 2014

What do you know about the office of the Hamilton County Public Defender?  Most people know from watching television that, in a criminal case, “you are entitled to a lawyer, if you cannot afford one, the court will appoint a lawyer to represent you.”  This is a Constitutional right, we all know that.  However, this is about the extent of most folks’ knowledge of the well known “right to counsel” in our court system.     

In fact, our Constitution requires the taxpayers to provide lawyers to represent citizens who do not have the money to hire a lawyer to defend them in court in the face of criminal charges.  In Hamilton County, the office of the Public Defender was established to fill this important role in the judicial system in most cases. 

The office of the Hamilton County public defender is funded with taxpayer dollars and must handle thousands of criminal cases every year.  The staff, attorneys and investigators are typically required to handle more cases per attorney than any other attorney in the practice of law. Therefore, it is important to the taxpayers and the clients this office serves that the attorneys and staff are well trained, well organized and operate smoothly.  Unfortunately, Hamilton County’s taxpayers have not been getting the benefit of their tax dollars in this office for several years.  That is why it is time for a change in leadership in the Public Defender’s office. 

Steve Smith is the Republican nominee for the office of public defender.  Steve has served us well every day in court for the last eight years prosecuting cases for the District Attorney's office.  Steve knows firsthand what is required to litigate in the criminal courtrooms in Hamilton County.  Steve has excellent relationships with the attorneys and judges and will deliver the level of services that the taxpayers of Hamilton County deserve from this office.  Steve has the skill, knowledge and expertise to significantly improve the services provided in the Public Defender’s office with our tax dollars.  Steve’s vision for improving the Public Defender’s office, his passion for public service and his broad range of knowledge, experience and training make him the only choice for Public Defender in Hamilton County this election year. 

During the upcoming election, I hope you will join me in voting for Steve Smith as the next public defender in Hamilton County.  Steve will definitely get the job done. 

Barry L. Abbott

No Apologies Needed

I have read Roy Exum’s work for decades, so I deem myself qualified to have an opinion on his work.  Roy Exum is on a roll and producing his best work ever in my opinion.  Proof that his work is meaningful is the fact that so many people from City Hall to the Hamilton County Jail are demanding apologies for his editorials.   The Exum article titled, “We Want ... (click for more)

Send Your Opinions To

We welcome your opinions at Email to . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Attorney Patrick Says Chattanooga Is "Most Logical Place" For Consolidating Volkswagen Lawsuits; Hearing Set Dec. 3

Attorney Gary Patrick said Chattanooga is "the most logical place for consolidating the Volkswagen litigation because it is the only location in the country where VW vehicles are being produced." Attorney Patrick, of the local firm of Patrick, Beard, Schulman and Jacoway, said a hearing is set Dec. 3 in New Orleans on the issue. A host of lawsuits seeking class action status ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed To Death On Hooker Road; Man Injured; Suspect Being Interviewed

A young woman was stabbed to death on Hooker Road early Friday morning and a man was injured. At approximately 1:54 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a stabbing at the 4000 block of Hooker Road. There police located Angel Evans, 33, deceased. She was stabbed multiple times. A second person, Gerald Nelson, 24, was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening ... (click for more)

Healthy Silverdale Takes Down Grace For 5-1A Volleyball Title

With season-long injuries healed and a full contingent of players available, Silverdale Baptist Academy completed a run for the District 5-1A volleyball tournament championship by sweeping Grace Baptist Academy, 3-0, on Thursday. The game scores were 25-22, 25-20 and 25-18. The host Lady Seahawks advance to the Region 3-1A tournament on Monday at Sale Creek and will play ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Wins 7-AA Volleyball Over Notre Dame

Notre Dame and Signal Mountain seem to bring out the best in each other, at least when the sport is volleyball. These were the top two teams in District 7-AA this fall.  Signal got the top seed based on its 3-0 win at Notre Dame after the Lady Irish had taken a 3-1 match at Signal early in the season. But with all the chips on the line for the 7-AA tournament championship, ... (click for more)