Legislation requiring a prescription to buy some cold medications has been stalled in a House subcommittee as lawmakers seek a middle ground between law enforcement officers pushing the proposal as a means to combat methamphetamine production and pharmacists opposing it as an unnecessary inconvenience to consumers.
The bill (HB368) would apply to Sudafed, Advil Cold and other products containing pseudoephedrine, which is used in illegal production of methamphetamine. Sponsor Rep. David Hawk, R-Greeneville, told the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee last week the measure is needed because previous legislative efforts — including harsher penalties for meth producers and a record-keeping system for sales of the medications — have not worked to control meth.
“The cost to society is millions and millions of dollars,” he said. “Families are being destroyed. People are dying because of this.”
Oregon and Mississippi have mandated that “meth precursors” be sold by prescription only, Hawk said, and meth production in those states has declined “dramatically.”
But with Hawk’s assent, the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport, announced the bill is being “taken off notice” and will be held without action while alternatives are explored. Shipley said he and other legislators met with Tennessee Bureau of Investigation officials, who support the measure, and “we were not persuaded this is the approach we need to take.”
State Rep. David Hawk, R-Greeneville, was in Greene County Criminal Court Friday and waived his arraignment, according to WCYB-TV. He was indicted by the Grand Jury on Monday and faces a felony reckless endangerment charge after an incident in March involving his estranged wife, Crystal Goans. “This has been a nightmare,” Hawk said. “I strongly maintain my innocence in this situation.”
Judge John Duggar removed himself from the case because he knows Hawk and works with Goans.
In court, Duggar mentioned this is an unusual indictment because on the paperwork, the section code listed doesn’t match the charge that Hawk faces. The indictment states Hawk recklessly caused bodily injury to his spouse, but the code is for a reckless endangerment charge. “It’s a very bizarre process in this whole scenario,” Hawk said.
He said the case is takings its toll on everyone involved. “It’s stressful, especially on my family more than anything.”
Hawk was re-elected in November and will head back to Nashville in January for the new legislative session. He said despite the court case, he plans to continue working for the people of Greene County. “I enjoy the challenged of my service. I’m honored by the number of votes on election day. And I’m looking forward to continuing the work we do in Nashville,” said Hawk.
He is due back in court on May 30. The Tennessee Supreme Court will decide which judge will hear the case.
See also WJHL-TV’s interview with Hawk: “I’m not sure why it’s happening. I’m not sure what’s happening…. In the meantime, I’m going to keep on doing my work, keep on being a daddy and do what I need to do.”
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Grand jurors in Greeneville have indicted state Rep. David Hawk on a felony reckless endangerment count after a March incident involving his estranged wife.
The Greeneville Sun (http://bit.ly/UZLcvg ) reported the indictment was returned Monday by a Greene County grand jury, which declined to formally charge the Republican lawmaker with domestic assault.
The indictment states Hawk recklessly caused bodily injury to his spouse, Crystal Goan Hawk.
Hawk has maintained he is innocent of the charges. He is scheduled to appear Friday for arraignment in Greene County Criminal Court.
Excerpt from the Greeneville Sun story: Hawk, who has maintained his innocence in connection with the charges, is scheduled to appear Friday morning for arraignment in Greene County criminal court.
“We weren’t aware there was a second count,” he said.
Hawk emphasized what he has said all along about the allegations in the case: “I strongly maintain my innocence and I’ve done nothing wrong,” he said.
Hawk was surprised he was not notified about the grand jury’s actions.
“We’ve heard nothing about this. This is bizarre,” he said. “This was reported before we were notified of anything.”
Rep. David Hawk of Greeneville has won a new term while facing charges of domestic assault against his wife, unofficial returns indicate.
The Republican lawmaker, who stepped down as chairman of the House Conservation and Enviornment Committee after being charged in March, had 11,382 votes to 8,124 for former Democratic state Rep. Eddie Yokley, according to unofficial returns with most of the vote counted.
Here’s a sample of some of the direct mail pieces sent to mail boxes in state House District 5, where Republican Rep. David Hawk, R-Greeneville, is in a tight race with former Democratic Rep. Eddie Yokley:
Democratic party mailer on Hawk’s domestic violence charge, HERE.
Republican party mailer on ‘Illegal Immigrants Support Eddie Yokley,’ HERE.
Republican party mailer, Eddie Yokley voted to use taxpayer dollars for abortions, HERE.
Republican party mailer: Eddie Yokley has a record ‘Barack Obama would be proud of,’ HERE.
Republican party mailer comparing Yokley’s ‘Obama liberal values’ with Hawk’s ‘Tennessee conservative values,’ HERE.
David Hawk and Eddie Yokley both say they have striven for civility in their Greene County competition for the right to represent citizens of House District 5, but political party powers in Nashville are pushing the campaign in a mean-spirited direction.
As of Friday, the Tennessee Republican Party had sent seven direct mail pieces into the district that Yokley says range from “terrible distortions” to “outright lies,” accusing the Democratic candidate of everything from “Chicago cronyism” to support for illegal immigrants and taxpayer-funded abortions. Hawk disavows them all.
The Tennessee Democratic Party last week sent voters in the district a direct mail piece outlining domestic violence charges that Hawk faces, which are adamantly denied by the Republican lawmaker. Hawk says it is “unfortunate that the Democrats have resorted to personal attacks.”
Yokley disavows the mailer, saying he and his local supporters have strictly avoided mention of allegations that Hawk attacked his wife. The charges against Hawk have been bound over to the Greene County grand jury. (Note: This has been corrected from the original post, which mistakenly said Hawk has been indicted.)
Still, both men say their party’s mailers are better than the other party’s attacks.
Democrats are crying foul over Tennessee Republican Party mailers attacking two East Tennessee Democratic legislative candidates.
A direct mail piece targeting former state Rep. Eddie Yokley, who is opposing incumbent Republican Rep. David Hawk of Greeneville, charges that the Democrat “supported taxpayer funding of abortions” in a 2009 House floor vote.
“You thought you knew Eddie Yokley, but Eddie says one thing in Greene County and does something different in Nashville,” declares the mailer. It includes a black-and-white photo of Yokley with a grim expression on his face and a copy of the printed roll call vote on HB1756 with his name circled under the list of those voting no.
“This is shameless and too far,” said Brandon Puttbrese, communications director for the Tennessee Democratic Party. “Would these pathetic politicians rather see young women and children die from preventable diseases than see Eddie Yokley in the state House?”
The bill in question was aimed at Planned Parenthood from receiving funding for providing “women’s health services” in Shelby and Davidson counties. The services provided under those contracts included contraception along with disease treatment and prevention, but did not include abortions.
As Puttbrese noted, taxpayer funding of abortions is otherwise prohibited by Tennessee law and has been for years.
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The domestic assault case of state Rep. David Hawk has been bound over to a grand jury.
The Greeneville Republican was charged in March. At a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, a judge heard testimony from two sheriff’s deputies and Hawk’s wife, Crystal.
According to The Greeneville Sun (http://bit.ly/Poha6v ), she testified that her husband threw her out of bed the morning of March 18, then struck her in the face, giving her a black eye.
Hawk has denied striking his wife. He said she pulled a gun on him and threatened to shoot.
Crystal Hawk testified Tuesday that there were no guns in the house.
Hawk, who is seeking re-election in November, didn’t testify at the hearing. But he told reporters after the proceeding that he’s “completely innocent.”
Frank Cagle’s column this week is about three state House races where he thinks Democrats have a chance this fall. Most of the discussion is about the contest between Democrat Gloria Johnson and Republican Gary Loe for the Knoxville seat vacated by Rep. Harry Tindell. If the Democrats in Knoxville turn out in droves to vote for Obama, it could mean a really healthy turnout for Johnson. There are no really hot local races to fire up Republicans. I don’t think they are worried about U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., losing his race.
Across most of the state, Obama at the top of the ticket is going to cause problems for Democrats down the ballot. Even some veteran Democratic House members in rural West Tennessee might be in trouble. But in Knoxville, urban Democrats are more likely to vote heavily for the president’s re-election.
…There are two other House races where former House members are trying for a comeback.
In Greene County, state Rep. David Hawk was arrested for assaulting his wife. Three opponents split the majority of the vote in the Republican primary, allowing Hawk to squeak in with a plurality. He is being challenged by former state Rep. Eddie Yokley, a likable Democrat who served four terms in the House in a district that used to include part of Greene and also Cocke County.
Who has more baggage in the election? Yokley has Obama at the top of the ticket in a rural, small-town East Tennessee county. Hawk spent a night in jail.
I rate it a toss-up.
Over in Oak Ridge, Republican state Rep. John Ragan is being challenged by the Democrat he beat for the job, former Rep. Jim Hackworth. I think Ragan, a blunt-talking retired fighter pilot, holds on to the seat, but it is a place where Democrats can spend some resources and have a chance for an upset.
News release from Tennessee State Employees Association:
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Employees Action Movement (TEAM) – the PAC of the Tennessee State Employees Association – proudly endorses David Hawk, R-Greeneville, in the upcoming general election for the District 5 seat of the Tennessee House of Representatives.
“Representative Hawk has always advocated for state employees and retirees during his tenure in the State Legislature,” said James Braswell, Chair of the TEAM Administrative Committee. “As demonstrated by his efforts to save Greene Valley Developmental Center, he understands that quality services depend on a motivated, effective, and efficient workforce. We are proud to endorse David Hawk’s campaign.”
Republican nominee David Hawk says, “I believe state employees are essential to all citizens of Tennessee and the work they do should be valued by all. I think it is the responsibility of all legislators to know the working conditions of State Employees, to support them, and to ensure they are treated fairly by the State Government.”
TEAM is the political action arm of the Tennessee State Employees Association, representing hundreds of state employees in the 5th District. Founded in 1974, TSEA has a rich history of improving the lives of its state employee members in Tennessee. For further information, visit TSEA’s website at www.tseaonline.org. You can also follow TSEA on Twitter @tseaonline.
— Note: Hawk faces former Democrtic Rep. Eddie Yokley of Greeneville in the November general election.