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

Roy Exum: A Vol Is Worth $521,854

The definition for the term “fair market value,” this from the IRS tax code, “is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.” So a recent article in Business Insider has just revealed a University of Tennessee scholarship ... (click for more)

Please, No Short Term Vacation Rentals In My Neighborhood

Approval of the short term vacation rental item on the City Council agenda for Tuesday  will be the next step toward commercializing our residential properties and communities to benefit those more interested in making money than preserving an old, well-established, rich community of like-minded families.    Anything requiring a business license is ... (click for more)

Fire Displaces Family Of 7; Blaze Ruled Accidental

No injuries were reported in connection with a house fire on Saturday afternoon that displaced a family of seven. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 4:11 p.m. and responded to 3308 Dodson Ave. with five fire companies. Captain Wadie Suttles with Engine 4 said heavy fire was showing when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. As additional firefighters ... (click for more)

Clarence Ross, Leshawn Witherow Shot On Walden Avenue Friday Afternoon

Chattanooga Police are investigating a shooting that happened early Friday afternoon at the 6300 block of Walden Avenue.  Clarence Ross, 41, And Leshawn Witherow, 40, suffered non-life threatening injuries.  Hamilton County EMS transported both victims to a local hospital for treatment.  There is no suspect information at this time.  Investigators with ... (click for more)

UTC Women Fall To UNCG 1-0 To End Regular Season

 The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s soccer team fell 1-0 at UNCG Sunday afternoon to close out the regular season. The Mocs end the year at 6-10-2 overall and 4-4-1 in the Southern Conference and tie the Spartans (7-10-2, 4-4-1 SoCon) for fifth in the standings.   “It was another tough result,” Chattanooga head coach Gavin McKinney said. “We did, however, ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Draws Top Ranked Greeneville, CCS Opens With Madison Magnet

For the second year in a row, Notre Dame drew the top ranked Greeneville in the opening round of the TSSAA Class A/AA state tournament.  Notre Dame is scheduled to play Greeneville on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Murfreesboro. CCS will play Madison Magnet in the first round. CCS and Greeneville played in the state championship game last year with Greeneville winning 4-1.  ... (click for more)