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


Luther Day Is Monday

Let’s Celebrate Luther Day on  Monday, March 9 !   On October 20, 2014, we lost Luther Masingill, at the age of 92. We’ve missed him on WDEF radio and TV, looking for all those lost dogs.  He was on the same time, same station since 1940; more than 74 years, interrupted only by his two-year stint in World War II.  When you see a list of records that will ... (click for more)

In Memory Of Jon Hopper

This is in memory and to honor my fallen patriot in arms Officer and United States Air Force Security Forces and Security Policeman Mr. Jon Hopper.   What I will tell you is no "Brian Williams war story." I served with Jon in the Air Force. And we did some very dangerous duties. Jon was a nice guy and very humble and laid back and I am sure that many of you do not know ... (click for more)

County School Bus Driver Alexander Rodriquez Charged With Raping 15-Year-Old Student

A county school bus driver has been charged with raping a 15-year-old student.   Alexander Rodriguez, 34, of Dusty Trail, Ooltewah, was being held on $350,000 bond.   The sheriff's office said it got a report at 9:30 p.m. of a missing juvenile, who was last seen boarding a school bus at Sale Creek High School that afternoon.    ... (click for more)

Snow In Today's Forecast After Balmy Wednesday; Hamilton County Schools, CCS, State Offices Closed Thursday

Temperatures were mild on Wednesday, reaching 74 degrees, but they began dropping as the day went on - leading to a winter weather advisory. The advisory went into effect at 4 a.m. on Thursday and is to continue until 4 p.m. The forecast is for freezing rain,sleet and snow. Hamilton County Schools will be closed Thursday . Officials said, "Due to the continued drop in temperatures ... (click for more)

TSSAA State Tournament Games Postponed Due To Weather

All TSSAA state basketball tournament games scheduled for today have been postponed due to extremely hazardous road conditions.  Today’s schedule will resume tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. in order to allow extra time to for road conditions to improve in the morning.   Friday’s scheduled semifinal games will be played on Saturday beginning at 1:30 p.m. due ... (click for more)

Chattanooga To Host National Amateur Soccer Championships

US Soccer and US Adult Soccer announced this week that Chattanooga's Finley Stadium will host the 2015 National Amateur Championships on May 29-30. There will be one team each from the four top amateur leagues; the National Premier Soccer League, the United Soccer League's Premier Development League and the US Amateur Soccer Association's Open and Amateur Champions.  ... (click for more)