Tag Archives: chancellor

Rogersville Lawyer Named Judge

News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today appointed Douglas T. Jenkins of Rogersville as Chancellor in the 3rd Judicial District, replacing Thomas R. Frierson who was named to the Tennessee Court of Appeals in February.
The 3rd Judicial District serves Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins and Greene counties.
“Doug has a depth of experience in law, and I am pleased to make this appointment,” Haslam said. “I appreciate his willingness to serve, and I know he will do an excellent job on the bench.”
Jenkins, 45, has practiced in the Law Office of Douglas T. Jenkins in Rogersville since 1997. He worked in the Law Offices of Terry, Terry & Stapleton in Morristown from 1995-1997.
His areas of practice have included domestic relations; probate/wills/estate/estate litigation; criminal defense and property boundary disputes. Jenkins has been owner and manager of a private family farm in Hawkins County since 1986.

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Judge Orders DCS to Turn Over Child Death Records to Media

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The state Department of Children’s Services was ordered Wednesday to give the media records from the case files of 50 children who died or nearly died after the agency became involved with them.
Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy also ordered the state to bear the cost of redacting identifying information from the records. The media organizations will pay the cost of making copies.
In September, The Tennessean requested the records of all the children involved with DCS who had died or nearly died between 2009 and mid-2012. The state produced only bare-bones summaries and later acknowledged it did not know how many children had died during that period.
In December a group of media organizations, led by The Tennessean and including The Associated Press, sued for access to the records. McCoy in January ordered the state to redact and turn over records from four cases and to produce an estimate of the cost to redact records in the remaining 200-or-so cases.
The state first said it would cost more than $55,000 to produce the remaining records, but later reduced that to a little over $34,000.
At the Wednesday hearing, the media groups asked McCoy to expand which records the department has to turn over and to order DCS to waive the fee.
McCoy did grant a partial expansion of the records request and ordered that the media groups must pay only a 50-cent-per-page copying cost. She told DCS to produce records from the 50 most recent files for her review by May 3.

Gov Appoints East Tennessee Chancellor

News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the appointment of Andrew Tillman as chancellor of the Eighth Judicial District Chancery Court effective immediately.
Tillman replaces late Chancellor Billy Joe White who passed away in November 2012 after serving on the bench for 35 years. The Eighth Judicial District includes Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress, Scott and Union counties.
“The Eight District is gaining an experienced legal mind with Chancellor Tillman,” Haslam said. “His career has been spent in both the public and private sectors, and I appreciate his willingness to serve.”
Since 2009, Tillman has worked as the senior law clerk for Judge Charles Susano, Jr. of the Tennessee Court of Appeals, preparing opinions for cases from all counties in the eastern section and all courts of record, including chancery court. He worked at the Knoxville firm, Paine, Tarwater, Bickers and Tillman from 1991 through 2009 and worked almost exclusively in litigation, providing advice, counseling and advocacy on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in a broad range of cases.
“I want to thank Gov. Haslam for this unique opportunity, and I look forward to serving as chancellor of the Eighth Judicial District,” Tillman said.
Tillman is a 1974 graduate of Northeastern Oklahoma State with a bachelor’s in mathematics. He earned his J.D. at the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1989 with numerous accolades. He has taught at the UT College of Law as an adjunct professor and lectured as a presenter of CLE programs.
Tillman, 61, also has practical skills as a mechanic, welder, carpenter, millwright and heavy equipment operator. He attends White Rock Baptist Church in Huntsville. He and his wife, Claudia have two children, Andi Marie and Tony.

Judge Rules TSSAA Subject to State Open Records Law

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association was declared the functional equivalent of a state agency Friday and declared to be subject to the Tennessee Open Records Act, reports The City Paper.
Responding to a lawsuit filed by The City Paper earlier this year, Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman granted the newspaper’s motion, agreeing that the TSSAA is the state’s de facto regulatory body for high school athletics and therefore subject to records requests.
As part of an investigation into recruiting violations at Montgomery Bell Academy, The City Paper requested documents from the TSSAA in January but was denied by the organization. The paper petitioned the court for access to the records in February.

Chancellor Billy Joe White Dies

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
The Tennessee legal community is mourning the loss today of Chancellor Billy Joe White, who died November 20, 2012 after a short illness.
“Chancellor Billy Joe White served the state in the great tradition of country judges – full of common sense, wise counsel and fair dealing. While his many friends among the bench and bar mourn his loss, we also cherish our memories of this good man. The prayers of the entire judiciary go out to the family and the people of his district,” said Chief Justice Gary R. Wade.
Chancellor White was on the bench for 35 years. He was chancellor in the 8th Judicial District, which serves Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress, Scott and Union counties. He was a graduate of the University of Tennessee Knoxville and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Funeral arrangements are pending.

Judge Refuses to Block TN Photo ID Law

A Nashville judge declined Wednesday to block enforcement of the state’s voter-photo identification law or to allow the Memphis Public Library’s new photo library cards to be valid for voting purposes.
From the Commercial Appeal:
In declining to issue temporary or permanent injunctions sought by the plaintiffs, Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy ruled against efforts by the City of Memphis and two Memphis registered voters to either overturn the state law as an unconstitutional infringement on the right to vote, delay its enforcement until all qualified voters who want them can obtain valid photo IDs, or allow the library cards to be acceptable for voting.
Testimony in Wednesday’s three-hour hearing indicated there are still more than 90,000 registered voters in the state who have non-photo state-issued ID driver’s licenses that won’t be valid for voting, plus “tens of thousands more” — no one knows for sure how many — registered voters without a valid photo ID and who are not in the state’s photo ID database.
Attorneys for the City of Memphis said during the hearing that the losing side would appeal. But afterward, they said they’ll wait until McCoy issues her written order — finalizing the oral ruling she made after a three-hour hearing — before they decide whether to seek an expedited appeal. “We’ll have to discuss it with our clients. We would like to appeal,” said Nashville attorney George Barrett, representing the city.
“I’m very disappointed. Anytime the state infringes on the right to vote, they’re taking something away from us, and they’re taking something away from us in this instance. Let’s not fool around; everybody knows what’s going on. You have to have your head in the sand if you don’t. It’s been going on all over the country since 2010. To play like it’s something innocent to protect the ballot is nonsense.”
During his court arguments, Barrett’s co-counsel, Douglas Johnston, told the judge that photo ID requirements for voting have been enacted across the country in the last two years “because in 2008, African-Americans and young people and poor people came out in droves to vote. These are the people who these laws most impact.”
McCoy ruled that none of the three plaintiffs had standing to challenge the state statute in court because the city has no right to vote and therefore cannot “assert it has been harmed” by the act. She said evidence presented indicated that co-plaintiff Daphne Turner-Golden can vote; “all she has to do is obtain a photo ID at no charge, while plaintiff Sullistine Bell can either vote absentee without a photo ID or obtain one.

State Lost $475,000 in Sale of Home to Steve Jobs’ Shell Company

The State of Tennessee took a bath when it sold the former University of Tennessee Health Science Center chancellor’s home to a shell company set up by Apple, Inc. founder and CEO Steve Jobs, losing $475,000 in the sale.
Further from Marc Perrusquia:
The loss had little to do with Jobs, however, and more to do with a decision to liquidate chancellor housing across the UT system – just as the biggest recession in 70 years was dawning.
“No corners were cut. No special deals were done,” said Chloe Shafer, real estate compliance director for the Tennessee Department of General Services, which sold the home at 36 Morningside Place on behalf of UT.
“I don’t know why they picked the worst time in the real estate market.”
More precisely, the decision came in 2007, shortly before the housing bubble burst. The UT Board of Trustees decided that providing homes to campus chancellors had become too expensive.
“There’s a better use for those dollars. That was the general feeling,” said Charles M. “Butch” Peccolo, UT chief financial officer.
In the process of trying to sell the chancellor’s home in Memphis, the market crashed. Yet the state stuck with the decision to liquidate the home even as bids failed to materialize and a series of appraisals showed its value plummeting, according to records maintained by the Department of General Services in Nashville.
The state bought the home for $1,325,000 in 2005 when Alice Owen, wife of then-chancellor Bill Owen, complained about a previous house that served as the chancellor’s residence.
After the Owens moved into 36 Morningside, they used more than $28,000 in tax dollars on improvements including $4,500 for an interior decorator consultation, $4,500 for a plasma TV, and $11,854 in shelving, lighting and rewiring. Much of the spending didn’t follow UT’s protocols, and Owen subsequently reimbursed the school.
An appraisal in October 2007 valued the home at $1.3 million. The home’s estimated value fell to $1.1 million in a subsequent appraisal in October 2008.
Over time, offers came in for hundreds of thousands less than the state wanted. Deals fell apart. And the market continued to plummet.
Then in early 2009 the state was contacted by George Riley, a Los Angeles attorney who represents Apple. In a span of eight days that March, Riley signed a sale contract with the state and helped set up a shell company, LCHG, LLC, that would protect Jobs’ privacy. On March 26, 2009, the firm closed the deal, buying the home for $850,000 “as is.”
“We always knew it was a law firm and they were buying the property for someone else. But we didn’t know who they were buying it for,” Shafer said.
Peccolo, the UT financial officer, said the decision to liquidate chancellors’ residences affected only the Memphis and Knoxville campuses. The home at UT-Martin was on campus and was converted to an alumni house, and the one at UT-Chattanooga is owned by a foundation, he said.
The state still is trying to sell the UT president’s home in Knoxville, an 11,000-square-foot home with a tennis court on 3.4 acres. Appraisals on the property have fallen from as much as $3.75 million in 2009 to $2.15 million this year.

UT Students Want Chancellor to Forgo $22,000 Pay Raise

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An online petition from students is pressuring the chancellor of the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus to forgo a raise of more than $22,000.
The university president on Friday defended Chancellor Jimmy Cheek’s nearly $400,000 salary as below the median for leaders of similar colleges.
By midday Friday, there were 860 signatures on the petition at www.change.org, a website that allows people to create online petitions seeking social change. The petition was started by Andrew Doss, an electrical engineering student from Goodlettsville.
According to WVLT-TV (http://bit.ly/NcPgE8), the tuition increase to be paid in the fall will average about $289 while Cheek’s raise is $22,356.
Tuition went up 12 percent for UTK undergraduates in 2011, and trustees just approved another hike of 8 percent to take effect with the fall semester.
Brandon Brackman signed the petition and said he’s fortunate to have scholarships and grants to continue at UT for another year.
He added, “But I have friends who rely on loans and on the sweat off their backs. This is making me bitter and jaded about the state of higher public education. Something needs to be done.”
Lisa Dicker also signed and wrote, “As a student who works two part time jobs and maintains a 4.0 GPA, this increase in tuition as a benefit to my education is insulting. Jimmy Cheek accepting another pay raise just adds to my increasing loss of faith in our administration.”
UT President Joe DiPietro said in a statement that Cheek’s raise was based on performance and his compensation is appropriate.