Tag Archives: Kathryn

Beavers Was Investing, Not Loaning $50,000? (Lou Ann Zelnick, too?)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Mae Beavers was investing $50,000 in a Macon County newspaper, not making a loan of that amount to the publisher, according to a response filed in a lawsuit Beavers has brought for collection of the money.
From Andy Sher’s report:
“Co-plaintiff Mae Beavers delivered said cashier’s check to Defendant (Kathryn) Belle for the specific purpose of investing in the venture and to make payment of the May 21, 2010 installment [payment] due to Main Street Media for purchase of the Macon County Chronicle,” the filing says.
It also alleges that Lou Ann Zelnick, a Republican who made a failed 2010 GOP 5th Congressional District primary bid, “invested” $36,000 in the newspaper venture as well.
…. (Beavers, in an interview) called the lawsuit a “personal matter.”
Asked about suggestions the money was not a loan but an investment, Beavers said, “I don’t believe that’s what the lawsuit said.”
Beavers said “yes” when asked if the $50,000 was intended as a loan.
Meanwhile, Beavers on Monday filed an amended Statement of Interests form with the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance. Her original State of Interests form, filed Jan. 30, did not mention the loan or the 6 percent her lawsuit cites as interest under the category “sources of income.”
Her new filing lists “Kathryne Bell — pass through interest on personal loan — no actual income.”
It also lists Bell’s nephew, John Cook, with the explanation “pass through interest on personal loan — no actual income.”

(Previous post HERE)

Commissioner Faces Questioning Over Taft Closing

(Note: Updates, expands and replaces earlier post)
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s call for providing the most efficient services at the lowest cost ran into a wall of criticism Wednesday from members of his own party over his plans to shut down Taft Youth Development Center. Andy Sher reports:
A bipartisan group of Government Operations Committee members focused their ire on Children’s Services Commissioner Kathryn O’Day, forcing her to defend her recommendations to Haslam for an hour.
Watching was an overflow crowd of Taft employees and top officials from Bledsoe County, where Taft is located, and Cumberland County.
O’Day maintained Taft deserves closure because it is the most costly of the five state prisons for young criminals.
She said closing Taft will result in an $8.5 million annual reduction in “unnecessary overhead we’re carrying.” That translates into about $4.4 million in actual savings because the money will be spent elsewhere within the department.
“The system on its best day today operates at 69 percent occupancy,” O’Day said. “In my previous career I was a private provider and residential services, and I can tell you that with a 69 percent occupancy rate I would have been out of business in very short order.”
Overall occupancy rates would improve by closing the 96-bed Taft to 87 percent, she said. She said she still couldn’t have operated on such an occupancy rate. O’Day also pointed out Taft is the oldest center.
Rep. Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, in whose district Taft sits, disputed cost savings. Taft and its estimated 169 employees guard over some of the oldest, most dangerous teen criminals, including gang members, Sexton said.
“With the closing of Taft there is concerns about putting these 17 1/2-year-old kids in with kids in another facility who are 14 and 15, and what’s going to happen to them?” Sexton said. “And what’s going to have to happen is the department is going to have to be held accountable.”
O’Day said the younger offenders would be separated in the three other male centers.

DCS Proposes Closing Taft Youth Center; Legislators Object

By Eric Schelzig, Associated Press
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday voiced opposition to a proposal by the state Department of Children’s Services to close a juvenile detention facility in Bledsoe County.
DCS Commissioner Kathryn O’Day said at budget hearings at the University of Tennessee that her agency would close the Taft Youth Development Center near Pikeville under Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s call for each department to prepare 5 percent reductions in spending.
“Taft is our oldest facility. It needs more than $37 million in capital upgrades,” she said. “Because of its age, it is an extremely spread out facility, so it is the most expensive for us to run.”
The Taft center holds 156 boys between the ages of 16 to 19 years old, according to the DCS website. It is the most restrictive of the state’s five youth development centers because it holds serious and repeat offenders. The other facilities are located near Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville.

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