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

100 Black Men Of Bradley County Thanks Community For Support

The 100 Black Men of Bradley County would like to thank each and every individual who lent a hand in making this year’s Annual Scholarship Banquet a success.   The outstanding support confirms that the people of Bradley County are committed to helping provide the much needed mentoring and education opportunities to all of the children in our community.   ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Meme From The Meanies

Hardly a day goes past that I don’t receive several strings of memes in my incoming emails and yesterday there was one particular collection that gave me pause for thought. First, here’s the definition of a meme: “An Internet meme (/mi?m/ MEEM) is an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person via ... (click for more)

City May Make It Easier For Food Trucks To Operate In Chattanooga

The City Council is considering action that would make it easier for food trucks to operate in Chattanooga.  City Attorney Wade Hinton said cities like Austin and Portland have thriving food truck operations and Chattanooga is studying those models. He said, "It's truly an industry there." He said a 2013 food truck ordinance was limited and did not allow food trucks on ... (click for more)

Magistrate Says She Was Fired Because Philyaw Did Not Want To Be Seen With Someone Openly Gay

A former magistrate at Juvenile Court said she was fired because Judge Rob Philyaw and Court Administrator Sam Mairs "wanted me gone because I was openly gay." County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said Elizabeth Gentzler was not the only gay at Juvenile Court and Hamilton County government, indicating that may be part of the county's defense. Attorney Stuart James, representing Ms. ... (click for more)

Keiser, Wigg Power Ooltewah Past East Hamilton, 9-5, in 5-3A Baseball

Frustrated by an early season hitting slump, Ooltewah left-fielder Payton Keiser broke loose with four hits, including a clutch three-run triple in a five-run seventh inning, and drove in five runs as the Owls beat rival East Hamilton, 9-5, Tuesday in District 5-3A action in horrible weather for baseball. Keiser had run-scoring singles in the second and fourth innings and ... (click for more)

Cleveland Rally Tops Walker Valley, 4-1

CHARLESTON, Tenn – Cleveland pitching ace Camden Sewell is used to the gaudy individual numbers and he rarely disappoints. Unfortunately, he has walked off the mound a few too many times in tough battles such as the one with Walker Valley  Tuesday  night without the one number he most cherishes.   That number being the one you put in the win column. ... (click for more)