News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today appointed Richard Montgomery as chairman of the Board of Parole. Montgomery replaces Charles Traughber who retired last week after serving nearly 40 years on the board, much of that time as chairman.
“I am grateful for Chairman Traughber’s many years of service and dedication to our state,” Haslam said. “His experience and counsel was extremely helpful as we restructured the board to transition probation services to the Department of Correction to provide a more seamless and accountable process.
“Richard will do an outstanding job for the citizens of Tennessee in this new role,” Haslam continued. “His passion for the citizens and welfare of this state are well known, and he has the right balance of compassion and common sense to lead this important organization.”
Montgomery, 66, was appointed to the Board of Parole in January. Prior to that, he served 14 years in the General Assembly representing Sevier County. He served as chairman of the House Education Committee and was a member of other key committees including the House Commerce Committee, the Select Committee on Corrections Oversight, the Calendar and Rules Committee, the Joint Lottery Scholarship Committee, the Joint Education Oversight Committee, the Joint Workers’ Compensation Oversight Committee, and the Select Committee on Children and Youth.
“I am extremely humbled and honored to be selected by the governor to chair this important board,” Montgomery said. “I feel fortunate to be working alongside such dedicated and knowledgeable staff and board members. It is a tremendous privilege to be able to serve the citizens of Tennessee in this capacity.”
Montgomery is retired from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he was operations manager for UT-Battelle for 27 years. He has also served on the Sevier County Board of Education along with several other community boards.
A graduate of Hiawassee Junior College and the University of Tennessee, Montgomery received the Gordon Fee Leadership in Education Award in 2012 from the Tennessee Business Roundtable. He also received the 2012 Leader in Education Legislative Award from the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents. In 2010, he was named Legislator of the Year by the Tennessee Hospitality Association, and the Tennessee County Officials Association named him Legislator of the Year in 2002.
Montgomery and his wife, Ann, live in Sevierville and have a grown daughter and son-in-law, Megan and Monte Miller, and a granddaughter, Josephine Clair.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Parole Board Chairman Charles Traughber is retiring this week after working with offenders for more than 40 years.
In 1969, Traughber became a prison counselor at the then-Tennessee State Penitentiary, which closed in 1992 after the opening of Riverbend Maximum Security Institution.
He worked his way up to director of counselors before becoming a charter member of the full-time parole board that was established in 1972, then eventually the board’s chairman, the title he has held the past 30 years.
Traughber has overseen countless hearings, including the only parole hearing of probably one of Tennessee’s most notorious offenders — James Earl Ray, who pleaded guilty in 1969 to killing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Traughber said Ray’s parole was denied because of the “seriousness of the offense.”
From The Tennessean: Charles Galbreath, an appeals judge, state legislator and defender of the downtrodden who was widely regarded as one of the most flamboyant power brokers of his generation, died Tuesday at his home in Nashville.
He was 88.
Mr. Galbreath, who went by Charlie, had been ill with Alzheimer’s disease and recently developed pneumonia, Joyce Galbreath, his wife of 63 years, said Thursday.
A Nashville native and the son of a man who owned a chain of grocery stores, Mr. Galbreath had aspirations in theater that preceded his storied legal and political career. In the 1940s, he studied drama at Carnegie Hall in New York before attending Cumberland University of Law. Throughout his career, he blended the stage and the gavel — often to the chagrin of colleagues and opponents alike.
A 1968 Tennessean profile, written before he was elected to the state Court of Criminal Appeals, described Mr. Galbreath as a “loud, elusive enigma” and said he “has always made the legal profession a little nervous.”
He performed weddings in oddball places, including on a Ferris wheel and in a bar.
Although his theatrics often garnered more attention than his accomplishments, many said Mr. Galbreath’s contributions to the state’s judicial system were substantial. They began when he served as a state legislator from 1960 until his election to the bench. He switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party before he sought the appeals court seat.
…Perhaps most notably, Mr. Galbreath in 1963 pushed a bill in the legislature that created the state’s public defender post. He then became Tennessee’s first public defender.
…His notoriety reached its peak in the mid-1970s, when Mr. Galbreath, a sitting Court of Criminal Appeals judge, wrote a letter to the editor of Hustler (he was a close friend of Larry Flynt, the pornographic magazine’s publisher) that said a certain sex act was still considered “unnatural and illegal” in some states. The letter, which used gutter slang that shocked and appalled the state’s legal establishment, reverberated for years among Tennessee lawyers.
…Mr. Galbreath also made headlines after being arrested for jaywalking in Columbus, Ohio, and for selling Cuban cigars out of his law office.
The House District 50 seat is open for the first time in at least 28 years, but the two men competing for it are no rookies when it comes to campaigning, reports the Tennessean. Democrat Tim Garrett represented the district in the General Assembly for 20 years until Gary Moore unseated him in a primary fight and went on to win the seat in 2004, starting an eight-year run that will end soon with Moore’s retirement.
Now Democrat Bo Mitchell, who has served with Garrett in the Metro Council since 2007, and Republican Charles Williamson, who unsuccessfully sought a different legislative seat two years ago, are vying to represent the area stretching from Goodlettsville to Bellevue.
The race has taken on a negative tone lately, with Mitchell hammering at Williamson’s residency issues and Williamson saying in a news release that Mitchell, although welcome to attend a recent campaign bean supper, “may already be full of beans.”
Mitchell, director of sales for Health Cost Solutions, previously worked for former Gov. Phil Bredesen as director of community affairs and ran the state Senate’s Government Operations Committee while working for former Sen. Pete Springer.
News release from Tennessee Democratic party:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester demanded state election officials remove state House candidate Charles Williamson from the ballot in light of evidence showing that Williamson submitted fraudulent information on his official nominating petition.
“For the past year, the Republicans have claimed they ‘want to protect the ballot box from voter fraud.’ They now have a chance to do the right thing and demand that Williamson be removed from the ballot based on the extensive evidence showing that he put a false address on his nominating petition, apparently thinking that living in the district he seeks to represent would help him politically,” Forrester said. “Adding insult to injury, Mr. Williamson has voted in the precinct where he apparently does not live.”
The evidence that Williamson does not in fact live in the address is extensively documented:
House District 50 candidate Charles Williamson has told Metro Codes that he’s dropping his attempt to use a Goodlettsville barn as a qualification for his residence in the district after city officials told him he couldn’t legally live there without making major changes, reports Chas Sisk. In a letter dated Sept. 19 and obtained by The Tennessean through a public records request, Williamson said he has moved from the barn property, at 2360 Baker Road, and doesn’t “have any intention to use this building as my residence.” While the Republican candidate recently bought a home elsewhere in the district, he continues to own a much more expensive home on the other side of town, raising questions about where he really lives.
“My opponent seems to be looking for a place to call home,” said Metro Councilman Bo Mitchell, the Democratic nominee for the District 50 seat. “When he’s going door to door in Bellevue, he’s from Bellevue. When he’s going door to door in Goodlettsville, he’s from Goodlettsville.”
The Tennessean reported in July that no occupancy permit had been issued for Williamson’s Baker Road property, which he listed as his residence when he registered to vote and when he filed his candidate qualifying petition earlier this year.
Williamson subsequently applied for an occupancy permit, but the renovated barn is at least partially in what Metro Water Services categorizes as an unstudied flood zone. That means a surveyor needs to determine if the barn is at least four feet above flood levels before a permit can be issued. Williamson also would have had to install an expanded septic system to obtain the Metro Public Health Department’s approval for a residence.
“It really was just too great of a distraction while trying to run a campaign,” said Claire Ratliff, Williamson’s campaign manager.
Michael Cass, in a blog post, is one up — well, two up, actually — on the New York Times in reporting on Tennessee bundlers for the Obama campaign. Obama campaign documents obtained by The New York Times show how much money the president’s “bundlers” had raised through May, including three men from Nashville.
But the newspaper’s list is incomplete, omitting the names of two other Nashville-based fund-raisers who have raised at least $250,000 combined.
The list published by the Times says real estate mogul Bill Freeman raised $489,483 in 2011 and the first five months of 2012, while Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester raised $362,475 and state party treasurer Dave Garrison brought in $316,050.
…it doesn’t include two other Nashville bundlers who are known to have raised a good bit more than $500 apiece: attorney Charles Robert Bone and venture capitalist Andrew Byrd.
A bundler list the Obama campaign released in late January showed Bone had raised between $200,000 and $500,000 for the re-election effort, while Byrd had brought in between $50,000 and $100,000.
A candidate for the state House of Representatives listed his residence on election documents as a renovated brick barn on a Goodlettsville bison ranch, even though Metro Codes says an occupancy permit has never been issued for the property and anyone living there would be violating the law, according to The Tennessean. Charles Williamson said he resides at 2360 Baker Road in Goodlettsville when he filed his petition to run for the District 50 House seat earlier this year with the Davidson County Election Commission. The gated property contains a renovated barn-style building that Williamson says he has lived in since January.
Mike Kyle, zoning examiner for Metro’s Codes Department, said there is no record of an occupancy permit for the property, and it would be unlawful for someone to live there.
The law does not require a House candidate to live in the district in which he or she is seeking election. They must, however, live there by the time of the general election, in this case in November,
Williamson is vying for the Republican nomination for the House seat vacated by Rep. Gary Moore, who is resigning. Also on the ballot are D.J. Farris and Dave Hall.
The matter is complicated by the fact that Williamson owns a 14-room mansion in Old Hickory and listed that address as his residence when he ran for the state House in 2010.
Williamson said he still owns the home in Old Hickory but doesn’t live there anymore. He said he was investigating whether the lack of an occupancy permit was an error by Metro or on his part.
The engineering firm Williamson owns also lists the Baker Road property as its address on documents filed with the Secretary of State. Nashville Electric Service records show electricity is being used at both the Goodlettsville and Old Hickory properties in his name.
“I wanted to get back to the farm,” Williamson said, adding that he would look into getting an occupancy permit if necessary.
News release from he governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Robert Carter as the District Attorney General to the 17th Judicial District, which includes Lincoln, Bedford, Marshall and Moore counties.
Carter will replace current 17th Judicial District Attorney General Charles Crawford, who is resigning effective July 31.
“Robert represents the full picture of what we were looking for as the new district attorney general, and I appreciate his willingness to serve the citizens of the 17th District,” Haslam said.
Raised in Lincoln County, Carter has been an assistant district attorney since 2010, working in the child support division and, most recently, as the state DUI grant prosecutor. In the child support division, he established, prosecuted, enforced, reviewed and, when appropriate, modified all child support matters for the district.
As the DUI prosecutor for the district, he prosecutes in all courts and has responsibility for all criminal charges associated with each DUI defendant.
Tennessee Republicans think they can turn yet another state House seat their way this year in a district stretching from Goodlettsville to Bellevue, reports the Tennessean. But Democrats believe they have a strong candidate to keep the District 50 seat in Metro Councilman Bo Mitchell, who will face one of three relative newcomers from the GOP ranks. Democratic state Rep. Gary Moore, a union advocate like Mitchell, is retiring after representing the district for eight years.
Early voting starts today. Mitchell, 41, is running unopposed on the Democratic side. The Republican race features Dwight “DJ” Farris, a 25-year-old Realtor; Dave Hall, 24, who works with data for Wyndham Resorts; and Charles Williamson, 51, a geologist, business owner and bison rancher.
…Both Williamson and Hall ran for House seats in 2010, while Farris is making his first bid for public office. Williamson lost to state Rep. Mike Turner of Old Hickory in District 51. Hall was the Republican nominee in District 50. He drew more than 42 percent of the vote but couldn’t unseat Moore.
Moore made an issue two years ago of the fact that Hall lived with his parents, which still appears to be the case. Hall and his father, Senate District 20 candidate David Hall, listed the same address and phone number when they qualified to run in April.
Hall said he’s legally old enough to run and that he would focus on cutting taxes, confronting illegal immigration and communicating with the people he hopes to represent.
“If you’re here illegally, we need to deport you,” he said. “We need you to come here through the proper channels.”
Farris, who said he closed his first real estate deal when he was a 20-year-old sophomore at Lipscomb University, said he would work to reduce regulations on businesses and create an environment that encourages student achievement and rewards successful teachers.
“People are ready to see someone that’s focused on creating jobs,” he said. “They understand that government does best when it gets out of the way of small business.”
Farris has been endorsed by Tennessee Right to Life, a pro-life group.
Williamson did not return two phone calls or an email seeking an interview this week. In a response to a request for basic information last month, he wrote that he decided to run because “I want to give back in a meaningful way and represent my neighbors with common sense leadership and a sincere willingness to work across party lines for solutions that keep Tennessee vibrant and strong.”