Tag Archives: mckenzie

Payday Loan Millionaire McKenzie Dies in Bankruptcy

An excerpt from the Chattanooga Times-Free Press story on the death of “Toby” McKenzie, who was once a multi-millionare thanks to the payday loan business — and while enjoying that status was often a generous donor to politicians and an employer of lobbyists at the Legislature:
A basketball arena at UTC was named for him. Millions of his dollars went to local schools, charities, ball fields and individuals.
Steve “Toby” McKenzie, a Cleveland, Tenn., native who grew up poor, built a fortune pioneering the national check cashing and pay-day loan industry in the early 1990s. He invested millions in more than a hundred businesses and real estate speculations and then lost almost everything during the economic recession.
More than a year before McKenzie died Thursday from unknown causes, he pleaded with his hometown to help him fight an involuntary bankruptcy that he said left him penniless, unable even to afford needed medications.
He was 59 years old when he died in a Chattanooga hospital. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca McKenzie, his three children and two stepdaughters.
“Toby left a legacy of generous support for the community he loved,” said D. Gary Davis, Bradley County mayor. “He was a big supporter of education. … My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Toby will be missed.”
McKenzie’s fall from grace became a public saga.
In 2008, when his bankruptcy began, he was ordered by the court to make $11.5 million in lease payments on defaulted properties.
The next year he was at risk of losing his two homes, each worth more than half a million dollars, and his personal possessions were liquidated. In total, he owed more than $200 million to 40 creditors nationwide, records showed.
The University of Tennessee removed his name from an athletics building because he didn’t follow through with a financial pledge. His ex-wife, Brenda Lawson, paid a portion and the building was named for her instead.

Racial Remarks Spark Call for Resignation of Cleveland Councilman

The Cleveland City Council deadlocked Monday on a nonbinding request that Councilman Charlie McKenzie resign over racial slurs he allegedly made while working for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Chattanooga TFP.
The council voted 3-3 on a proposal of formal disapproval of McKenzie’s actions and a call for him to abandon his position as District 1 councilman. Councilmen Bill Estes, Avery Johnson and Richard Banks supported the measures; Councilmen David May, Dale Hughes and George Poe opposed them
The proposed sanctions, introduced by Estes, came two weeks after McKenzie, fellow councilmen and members of the Bradley County NAACP met about the situation. At that meeting, McKenzie said he apologized if he had ever said anything to offend anyone.
“I’ve said and I’ve said and I’ve said,” McKenzie responded Monday to a request for a statement.
Two white deputies with the sheriff’s office, Anthony Liner and Kristi Barton, both of whom worked alongside McKenzie when he served as a part-time deputy, filed statements Jan. 18 about racial slurs they maintain they heard McKenzie make, records show.
“Over the last several months, while training Deputy Charlie McKenzie, I have heard him make a number of derogatory statements regarding race,” Liner wrote. “I have heard him refer to African-Americans as spook, coon, spade and n —- .”

Knox Commission Rejects Campfield Censure Proposal

Officials on Tuesday night voted down Knox County Commissioner Sam McKenzie’s plan to ask state senators to censure colleague Stacey Campfield over recent controversial remarks the Knoxville Republican made about gays and the origin of the AIDS epidemic, reports Mike Donila.
The resolution would have directed commission Chairman Mike Hammond to ask state Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, R-Knoxville, to initiate proceedings against Campfield. Only McKenzie and Commissioners Amy Broyles and Tony Norman supported it during Tuesday’s work session. The other eight commissioners declined to sign off on it.
McKenzie said Campfield’s “false comments” attracted nationwide attention from a number of media outlets, including The Today Show and The View, and the “negative perception affects us — this affects our bottom line.”
Campfield made national news in late January after he blamed the AIDS virus on “a guy screwing a monkey” and called the disease “virtually impossible” to contract via heterosexual intercourse. He made the comments during a radio interview on Sirius XM’s gay-lesbian channel OutQ.
A few days later, Martha Boggs, owner of the Bistro at the Bijou, refused to serve him at her downtown restaurant in disgust. Prior to the radio interview, the senator made national headlines as sponsor of the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Campfield calls the bill “Don’t Teach Gay.”

Campfield said the censure proposal “was ludicrous from the beginning” and he was not surprise at the rejection of what he considered a “partisan game.”
He also characterized McKenzie as “somebody looking for a free meal at the Bistro.”

Knox Commissioner Seeks Censure of Sen. Campfield

Knox County Commissioner Sam McKenzie wants Stacey Campfield’s state Senate colleagues to censure him over recent controversial remarks the Knoxville Republican made about gays and the origin of the AIDS epidemic, reports Mike Donilla.
He is spearheading a County Commission resolution that directs the board’s chairman to ask state Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, R-Knoxville, to initiate proceedings against Campfield.
“For a New York educated gentleman, he’s really come down here and put a tarnish on the people of Knox County with these outlandish statements,” McKenzie said. “A censure is a reprimand and I think it’s called for in this particular case.”
Campfield made national news in late January after he blamed the AIDS virus on “a guy screwing a monkey” and called the disease “virtually impossible” to contract via heterosexual intercourse. He made the comments during a radio interview on Sirius XM’s gay-lesbian channel, OutQ.
A few days later, Martha Boggs, owner of the Bistro at the Bijou, kicked him out of her downtown restaurant in disgust.
Prior to the radio interview, the senator made national headlines as sponsor of the so-called “don’t say gay” bill. Campfield calls the bill, “don’t teach gay.” It passed the state Senate last year after being revised to permit only sexuality involving “natural human reproduction” to be discussed in public schools. It still awaits a House vote.
Campfield on Wednesday said he believes McKenzie’s opposition really stems from the bill and “this is just one of those old tactics that they use to try and scare people away (from supporting it).”
“The liberals always appreciate everybody’s point of view until someone actually has another point of view,” Campfield said. “(McKenzie) thinks we should have sex education on homosexuality taught in schools. I don’t.”
Massey said she had not heard about McKenzie’s proposal and was noncommittal about it Wednesday.
“We’ll just wait and see what happens,” she said, before listing a number of Legislative activities including budget hearings, that would take up her day. “Right now, that’s where my focus needs to be.”