A Rhea County Circuit Court jury on Tuesday evening found former state Rep. Jim Cobb, R-Spring City, not guilty of assaulting a woman in a wheelchair who supported Cobb’s opponent in the Aug. 2 primary election, reports the Chattanooga TFP. “The verdict speaks for itself,” said Cobb, who previously dismissed the misdemeanor assault charge as “politically motivated.”
The decision came at 6:40 p.m. after about an hour’s deliberation at the historic Rhea County Courthouse in downtown Dayton, Tenn. Cobb turned himself in to the county jail on Oct. 3 after a grand jury indicted him.
According to a Rhea County Sheriff’s Office report, Goins was sitting in her wheelchair at Frazier Elementary School in Dayton, campaigning for Cobb’s opponent, Ron Travis, when Cobb got out of his pickup truck and attempted to knock down a Travis sign.
Goins feared “imminent bodily injury,” the report stated, and thought Cobb was going to hit her after he raised his hand. Cobb, meanwhile, said there was no contact and not even harsh words directed toward Goins.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Rep. Curry Todd is pleading not guilty to drunken driving and gun charges.
The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/Ov70Ck ) reports that attorney Worrick Robinson entered the plea on behalf of Todd, who did not attend the hearing in Nashville on Friday.
The Collierville Republican was arrested in October after failing a roadside sobriety test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found stuffed between the driver’s seat and center console. Todd faces charges of drunken driving, possession of a firearm while under the influence and violating the state’s implied consent law for refusing a breath alcohol test.
Todd was a main sponsor of a state law allowing handgun carry permit holders to bring firearms into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. It’s unclear where Todd was coming from at the time of his arrest.
Further, from The Tennessean: “I’ll be speaking with the district attorney’s office,” Robinson said. “We’ll be seeing if there’s any way we can find some common ground to see if we can settle this matter.”
…The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security has said that Todd can keep his handgun carry permit, though it could be suspended for a year if he is convicted of the DUI charge.
In April, Todd announced that he had been diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Haslam will allow a bill that limits the number of foreign workers at charter schools to become law without his signature, the Republican announced Wednesday.
Haslam said in a statement that he questions the constitutionality of the measure and that he doesn’t want to harm the state’s efforts to improve education standards.
The governor said changes made to the bill late in the legislative session eased some of those concerns.
“I am comfortable that because it is permissive and not mandatory, it does not adversely impact the state’s momentum in education reform,” Haslam said.
State Senate Democratic Leader. Jim Kyle announced Friday he will not run for Shelby County district attorney general next year, reports Rick Locker. A special general election is scheduled for next August for the office in the wake of former district attorney general Bill Gibbons’ departure in January to join Gov. Bill Haslam’s cabinet as commissioner of safety and homeland security. Haslam appointed Gibbons’ deputy district attorney, Amy P. Weirich, a Republican, to replace him in January and she will be a candidate for the remainder of the term.
The qualifying deadline for candidates is Dec. 8 and the special primary election for the office is in March.
“Approximately two weeks ago, several good Democrats contacted me to encourage me to run for District Attorney of Shelby County. I am writing you today to decline their generous offer of support, and wanted to take a moment to explain why,” Kyle wrote.
He said that the sudden death of his longtime law partner earlier this year put the law firm’s future in question.
“At that time, I told my lawyers, staff and clients that if they stuck with me, we would continue to move forward. They did, and we have. It would be unfair of me to tell them six months later that I was leaving the practice that I had promised to keep together. I have always tried to do the right thing, and I know that this is the right decision for both my family and the people close to me,” Kyle wrote.
“Please know that I still believe that a candidate with strong, united Democratic support can be successful in Shelby County. That’s why I wanted to tell you of my decision before the filing deadline,” he said.