Tag Archives: contempt

Zelenik Faces Contempt of Court Charge in Beavers’ Lawsuit

Congressional candidate Lou Ann Zelenik failed to appear last week for a legal deposition, though The Tennessean reports that her attorney said she had permission not to be there.
Still, lawyers for a Middle Tennessee newspaper publisher have asked a Wilson County judge to weigh a criminal contempt charge after Zelenik did not turn up July 12 to testify in a suit involving the paper’s finances.
Chancellor C.K. Smith responded to the skipped appointment by signing an order requiring Zelenik to appear in court in September to face a potential criminal contempt charge. But Zelenik’s attorney, Lee Davies, says she had permission to miss the deposition because of conflicts with her campaign schedule.
“She did exactly what the judge asked her to do, so I’m at a loss,” Davies said.
The possibility that Zelenik could face a criminal contempt charge — and potential punishment — was first reported Thursday by the Nashville City Paper (and Nashville Post, link HERE). But it’s unclear whether the charge will stand, or even if it was seriously contemplated in the first place.
Zelenik faces punishment even though she appeared at the first date scheduled for the deposition, according to court filings. Zelenik also is not a direct party to the case, a dispute between state Sen. Mae Beavers and Kathryn Belle, publisher of the Macon County Chronicle, a weekly newspaper in Lafayette, Tenn.
Beavers and her husband, Jerry, sued Belle in December, saying she owes the couple $50,000 and interest on a loan given to her Main Street Media LLC to buy the newspaper. Belle says the money was an investment in the newspaper.

Basil Marceaux Goes to Jail

Tennessee state House candidate Basil Marceaux Sr. will spend the next 10 days at the Hamilton County workhouse facility after deriding a judge during a court appearance, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
Marceaux was in Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern’s courtroom Monday on charges of failure to maintain lane and not having insurance, both of which were filed Jan. 6, according to court records.
While standing before Stern, Marceaux became disorderly, according to the court order.
“The defendant’s conduct included a verbal display of disagreement with the court’s ruling, telling the court that was ‘out of order’ and that when the defendant wins an election the court ‘is going down,'” Stern’s order states.
Stern sentenced Marceaux to 10 days of work at Hamilton County’s Silverdale Correctional Facility. He cannot bond out.
Marceaux — who has been on the ballot for governor, state senate and Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District in recent years — is currently running for the District 27 seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives.