Tag Archives: suspend

Memo on Shelby Election Administrator Mistakes

A Shelby County Election Commission personnel memo shows management missteps, including those marring August elections in Collierville and Millington, led to a suspension and probation for administrator of elections Richard Holden.
Further from the Commercial Appeal:
But the commission’s decision to discipline Holden apparently was made at an executive session, closed to the public, after an Aug. 28 special meeting, and would appear to violate the state’s open meetings law.
Holden on Friday had a one-word response to the questions about whether he believes the commission’s actions were just: “No.”
Election commission members Thursday declined to provide details about Holden’s three-day suspension without pay, set for Oct. 1-3, and six-month probation through February, that were spelled out in an Aug. 29 memorandum. But the two-page memo in Holden’s Shelby County government personnel file made available Friday cites issues with the Aug. 2 elections in Millington and Collierville, as well as general management issues as reasons for the disciplinary action.
In addition, the commission warned Holden, who has an annual salary of $96,400, that the results of an investigation of the election problems by the state comptroller’s office could trigger further discipline, “up to and including termination of your employment,” the memo states.
The commission also provided Holden with an eight-point list of actions required during his probation, ranging from completing the upcoming Nov. 6 election “without a major incident” to attending a Dale Carnegie or similar leadership training course. Carnegie was the author of the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
The personnel memo, which a handwritten note signed by commission chairman Robert Meyers says was given to and discussed with Holden on Aug. 30, cites the following as causes for the suspension and probation.

McCormick’s Opponent Suspends Campaign

From the Chattanooga TFP: State House District 26 Democratic candidate Larry G. Miller suspended his campaign Thursday because he is taking a job at the University of Texas at Austin.
Miller, who won the August primary, is scheduled to face House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick in the Nov. 6 general election.
“The reason I’m suspending the campaign is that I have a tremendous personal opportunity,” he said.
Miller will be the director of the National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development.
Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Paul Smith said he’s contacting local officials to see if they can get another candidate on the ballot. “While we’re losing him in Hamilton County, we’re glad to share him with America,” Smith said.

Clerks Refusing to Yank Driver Licenses for Failure to Pay Court Costs

Starting July 1, clerks throughout Tennessee gained the power to begin suspending driver’s licenses if court fees and fines go unpaid for a year. But The Tennessean reports that not a single license has been suspended, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
Even Tommy Bradley, chief administrative officer for the Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk’s Office and the man who wrote the law, is holding off until Aug. 1 to give debtors one last chance to pay at least something.
Other clerks are questioning whether to suspend licenses at all, out of logistical or moral reservations.
“I just want to wait and see,” said Wilson County Circuit Court Clerk Linda Neal. “I’m afraid this law is going to be hurting the people who would really like to put out the effort to pay and they simply can’t.”
Bradley acknowledges there is “widespread” opposition to the law, which he wrote to help collect hundreds of millions in uncollected court costs.
…Neal said that aside from moral qualms at saddling poor offenders with even more burdens, she’s not sure she has the money or staff to send out notices and then process debtors for suspensions.
“We’ve got all the work that we can say grace over now,” Neal said. “To me, it’s going to be more record-keeping and a little bit more difficult to keep up with.”
Neal said she’s more likely to just continue sending unpaid debts to a collection agency. It’s cheaper and easier on her overworked staff.

Campfield, Dunn Disappointed with Santorum Suspending Campaign

State Rep. Bill Dunn, a Knoxville Republican who was instrumental in organizing Santorum’s successful campaign in Tennessee, said he was disappointed that the Pennsylvania senator had decided to suspend his campaign. (Story on Santorum’s announcement HERE.)
“I guess the other states dropped the ball,” Dunn said.
“I know he worked hard and made a lot of sacrifices to give people a choice,” said Dunn, adding he stands ready now to support the party nominee, presumably Romney.
“I am ready to beat Barack Obama. He is so bad and dangerous that whoever comes out of the primary, I’ll be supporting him,” Dunn said.
State Sen. Stacey Campfield, who abandoned his role as co-chairman of Newt Gingrich’s campaign to endorse Santorum, voiced similar sentiments.
“I’ll support Mitt Romney if he is going to be the nominee,” said Campfield. “I was hoping for somebody more conservative. But he (Romney) is better than what we have in there now, a raging liberal….a train wreck.”

Red Bank and Red Light

The city of Red Bank has suspended operation of a red light traffic camera because of a new state law and an opinion from state Attorney General Bob Cooper, reports the Chattanooga TFP. “We want to do whatever the attorney general says — whatever way was fine with us,” said Red Bank City Manager Chris Dorsey, who had asked Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, to seek the legal opinion.
Dorsey said Monday he plans to discuss the matter later today when the Red Bank City Commission meets. The city temporarily suspended issuing citations to drivers failing to stop on right turns at red lights beginning July 1 when the new law took effect.
He said that was because of uncertainty about its impact. Red Bank’s new budget already takes into account the resulting loss of revenue — an estimated $185,000. That comes out to roughly half of what had originally been projected to be $375,000 in traffic camera revenues, Dorsey said.

Supremes Confirm Suspension of Cocke County Judge

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Supreme Court today upheld the Court of the Judiciary’s decision that Cocke County General Sessions Court Judge John A. Bell violated the Code of Judicial Conduct for taking too long to decide a personal injury case and participating in an ex parte communication. The high court also affirmed the Court of the Judiciary’s sanctions against Bell, which included a 90-day suspension.
The Court of Judiciary’s disciplinary action came as a result of a complaint from David Pleau, who filed a lawsuit in Bell’s court following a car accident with an uninsured motorist. Pleau, who was acting pro se, named his insurance carrier but not the uninsured motorist in the suit. Merastar Insurance Company, Pleau’s insurance carrier, filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. At the end of the hearing, Bell said he would issue his decision in a week.

Continue reading