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.
By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Queen Elizabeth’s youngest son, Prince Edward, visited Tennessee on Thursday to promote one of the British royal family’s charities, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The prince presided over an awards ceremony at the governor’s mansion for the first batch of young Tennesseans to participate in the leadership and character program.
“Most of you are — how should I put this — guinea pigs? The first ones to go through the award,” the prince said. “So you’re leading the way here.”
About 80 youths received the award by participating in community service, skills development, physical fitness and adventurous journeys through the Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, LEAD Academy, Montgomery Bell Academy or the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Organization.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a self-development program for people between the ages of 14 and 25 that aims to instill confidence and skills. More than 8 million people in more than 140 countries have participated since it was founded in 1956 by the queen’s husband, Prince Philip.
NASHVILLE – Former state Rep. Richard Montgomery of Sevierville, defeated in a bid for reelection last year, has been named a member of the state Board of Parole by Gov. Bill Haslam.
Montgomery, who was chairman of the House Education Committee in the last legislative session, was appointed to a six-year term on the panel effective Tuesday, according to a spokesman for the governor.
A state website shows current members of the board, which decides whether state prison inmates should be granted parole, have an annual salary of $93,732 per year.
Montgomery will replace Yusef Hakeem, a former Chattanooga city councilman, who was named to the seven-member board by former Gov. Phil Bredesen.
Montgomery was defeated in the August, 2012, Republican primary by Dale Carr, a Sevierville auctioneer, who was sworn into office with other state legislators Tuesday as the 108th General Assembly began. Haslam had supported Montgomery in his bid for re-election.
A Sevier County native, Montgomery is a graduate of Seymour High School, Hiwassee Junior College and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He is a retired Operations Manager of UT-Battelle in Oak Ridge.
Haslam last year successfully pushed legislation that revised the duties of the Board of Parole, most notably by shifting responsibility for supervision of paroled inmates to the Department of Correction. Before the bill passed in the last legislative session, the board was known as the Board of Probation and Paroles
As a parting gift before leaving the state Legislature, five outgoing lawmakers spent more than $13,000 of taxpayer money to go on a four-day junket to Chicago, according a TNReport review of state records. Taxpayers are covering the costs for everything from airfare and mileage to staying in $227-a-night hotels and taking $40 taxi cab rides during the trip. The registration fees were as high as $615 per person for the National Conference of State Legislatures annual summit in August. Some of the lawmakers, who had been defeated at the ballot box or announced their retirement, claimed five and six days’ per diem at $173 per day.
For lawmakers who knew at the time they would leave office after the November election, those bills amount to a taxpayer-funded “retirement party,” one critic said.
“People who serve in the Legislature for long periods of time tend to get a sense of entitlement about what the taxpayers owe them,” said Ben Cunningham, spokesman for Tennessee Tax Revolt, a taxpayer advocacy group.
What’s worse, he said, is that the speakers of both chambers signed off on the $13,388 worth of expense reports.
,,,The outgoing lawmakers are House Education Committee Chairman Richard Montgomery, R-Sevierville, and Rep. Jeanne Richardson, D-Memphis, who lost their primaries on Aug. 2, four days before the conference, and retiring lawmakers Sen. Mike Faulk, R-Church Hill; Rep. Bill Harmon, D-Dunlap; and Rep. Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington.
— Note: The article referenced above is, I think, the last story filed by Andrea Zelinski for TNReport. She’s moving to The City Paper, where she will continue to report on state government and political stuff, after a week or so vacation with her husband. The move has inspired some commentary — HERE, for Betsy Phillips, who is glad there’s a woman around among the dwindling Tennessee Capitol Hill Press Corps. I’m glad she’ll be around, too — not because she’s female, but because she’s a relatively fresh face compared to us old coots and is cool, competent and professional while actually paying a lot of attention to the ongoing process.
Andy Sher has tallied up $367,000 worth of late campaign spending by PACs in Tennessee legislative campaigns that were reported in filings for the period July 1-26.
More than $250,000 came from two PACs supporting school voucher legislation that got much of their money from outside the state. Rep. John DeBerry, D-Memphis, and Richard Montgomery, R-Sevierville, were the biggest beneficiaries. In Memphis’ House District 90, Students First and the Tennessee Federation for Children have joined hands in a state House primary on behalf of a Democrat who backs education vouchers.
Tennessee Student First’s PAC put up $104,018 to fund neighborhood canvassers and direct mail to help Rep. John DeBerry, D-Memphis. DeBerry, a black social conservative, faces Rep. Jeanne Richardson, D-Memphis, a white liberal, records show.
The Tennessee Federation for Children spent nearly $36,000 on direct mail and advertising to help DeBerry. It also put $100,489 into contributions and independent expenditures for various Republican candidates.
DeBerry backs vouchers while Richardson does not.
…The Tennessee (Students First) group received all its funding from the national organization. It spent $150,182 to help House Education Committee Chairman Richard Montgomery, R-Sevierville, who faces Republican Dale Carr. That included an independent expenditure of $46,164 for advertising.
The Tennessee Federation for Children’s in-state backers include Nashville auto dealer Lee Beaman and Dorothy Scarlett, wife of retired Tractor Supply Co. Chairman Joe Scarlett. They respectively gave $10,000 and $15,000 in the second quarter.
But the group in July received a flood of new contributions, including $65,000 from the American Federation of Children, a Washington, D.C., group that also backs vouchers, according to Registry filings.
The notion of carrying water for Gov. Bill Haslam has come up for discussion in a Sevier County campaign for a state House seat this summer and perhaps serves to illustrate the differences between candidates Richard Montgomery and Dale Carr.
“Mr. Montgomery said, ‘I’ve carried the governor’s water and I’d be happy to carry it all the way to the White House,” says Carr, 57, an auctioneer and Sevierville alderman.
“If I’m elected, I’m not going to be one to carry anybody’s water,” Carr said. “I don’t want to make the governor mad in any case, but sometimes in Sevier County we don’t like people telling us what to do.”
Yes, says Montgomery, he has made comments on gubernatorial water-bearing while facing his first Republican primary challenge since he won the seat by defeating an incumbent lawmaker 14 years ago.
“As long as Gov. Haslam wants to cut $100 million out of taxes on people, cut a billion dollars out of the state budget and shrink government … I’ll carry that water all the way to the White House if he wants me to,” said Montgomery, 65, who is retired from a professional career involving Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
SEVIERVILLE — Dale Carr and Richard Montgomery drew distinctions between each other on some previous votes, but also showed common ground in their debate Tuesday night, reports the Mountain Press. Carr, a Sevierville alderman, and Montgomery, the incumbent, are the Republican candidates for the 12th District seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. They faced off in a debate sponsored by The Mountain Press and the Sevier County Republican Party. No Democrats qualified to run.
The two showed more distance over some of their previous actions than over issues they could face in Nashville if elected.
Montgomery was questioned on his support of a bill to allow a third liquor referendum for Pigeon Forge, which would come ahead of the normal two-year moratorium since the last vote. Pigeon Forge voters have twice rejected the measure, but Pigeon Forge City Commission voted 4-1 to ask legislators to put it on the November ballot.
The incumbent said he first rejected a bill that would have allowed liquor sales in all tourism development zones in the state. At the time, Pigeon Forge was the only city with a TDZ that didn’t already allow liquor sales.
After that, however, he said he supported the plan to let the city have another vote earlier than the allotted two years. His reason: Turnout is typically higher for a presidential election.
“It’ll be up to the people to make the decisions and not Nashville, and that’s what I’m for.”
Carr said he wouldn’t have taken that step, even with the vote from Pigeon Forge City Commission, because it contravened the voters’ rejection of the measure twice.
“The City Commission … took it upon itself to go against, I think, the will of the people,” he said. “They were pandering to one particular entity.”
Carr had to account for his own vote on a liquor issue, however. Early in his career as an alderman, he supported a request for a private act that would have allowed for the sale of liquor by the drink inside the city’s TDZ. Private acts like the one in question typically name an area without naming the city, making them hard to track. They often move far along the legislative process without the notice of local residents, and that was the case with the one in question.
Carr said the request was already sent to the Legislature when Mayor Bryan Atchley polled aldermen individually to see if they supported it. Local legislators had asked for the phone poll after the private act became public knowledge. He said he told the mayor he didn’t oppose it moving ahead because it was already in the Legislature when he heard of it.
The private act was eventually pulled, but city voters later approved the sale of liquor by the drink in a referendum.
News release from the governor’s office:
SEVIERVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer announced today a grant for the final link in a pedestrian and bicycle route between downtown Sevierville and Pigeon Forge.
The $423,833 transportation enhancement grant to the city of Sevierville is for Phase II of the Hospital to East Gate Greenway Project, which includes a 10 foot paved multi-use trail for pedestrians and bicyclists to be constructed parallel to Middle Creek.
The project also includes ornamental lighting, shade trees and other decorative features designed to enhance the scenic character of the city’s transportation system.
“Communities across the state are creating networks of greenways, trails and walkways that offer Tennesseans additional ways to commute or exercise as well as offering visitors a new way to see our state,” Haslam said. “This project will provide an essential link in Sevierville’s alternative transportation network while also promoting healthy living and pedestrian travel.”
A variety of activities such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects are eligible for grant funds made possible through a federally funded program administered by TDOT.
“Through Transportation Enhancement grants, TDOT has funded more than $270 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” Schroer said. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”
State Sen. Doug Overbey (R-Maryville), and state Reps. Richard Montgomery (R-Sevierville) and Art Swann (R-Maryville) represent Sevier County in the Tennessee General Assembly.
— Note: Overbey and Montgomery both have contested primaries as they seek re-election this year and both have been endorsed by the governor.
Gov. Bill Haslam says he will be supporting some incumbent Republican legislators who face primary challenges this summer, apparently starting with House Education Committee Chairman Richard Montgomery of Sevierville.
While declining to give a list of candidates he will be backing, saying “we haven’t sat down as a staff and had those conversations yet,” the governor told reporters he will attend an event for Montgomery “sometime in the next couple of weeks.”
Haslam said he has already attended a fundraiser for Rep. Ryan Williams, R-Cookeville, who does not face opposition in the Aug. 2 Republican primary but has a Democratic opponent in November. Montgomery, on the other hand, has no Democratic opponent but faces fellow Republican Dale Carr of Sevierville in the primary.
Haslam said he would be “more active for folks who have worked really hard for us.”
A Lake County sheriff’s deputy (who resigned last week) has been arrested and charged with counts of sexual battery and sexual misconduct, which were allegedly committed against two underage females, reports the Dyersburg State Gazette.. On Thursday, agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation took Mario Montgomery, 33, into custody and he was charged with one count of sexual battery by an authority figure and one count of sexual misconduct by an authority figure.
TBI spokesperson Kristen Helm could not give out further details about the case, but she did confirm the victims were female juveniles and the TBI has been investigating allegations against Montgomery for the past two weeks.
Montgomery was a Lake County Sheriff’s deputy up until last week, after which he resigned from his post. He is also an alderman for the city of Tiptonville.
Lt. Danny Tippitt II with the Lake County Sheriff’s Dept. stated Sheriff Bryan Avery has referred all questions about the case to the TBI since they are in charge of the investigation.