The son of a dairy executive who lost a race for Congress has pleaded guilty to slashing a tire stem on a car belonging to the incumbent congressman’s campaign manager during a campaign stop last spring, reports the News Sentinel. Michael Mayfield, son of Scottie Mayfield, entered his plea to misdemeanor vandalism this week in Roane County General Sessions Court.
The younger Mayfield, 34, admitted slashing the stem on the rear left tire of Tyler Threadgill’s 2005 Audi during an April 24 Scottie Mayfield campaign stop at the Roane County Courthouse.
Threadgill, manager of 3rd District congressman Chuck Fleischmann’s re-election effort, had attended several of Mayfield’s campaign events.
On Monday, Michael Mayfield received a suspended 11-month, 29-day jail sentence, was granted judicial diversion and was placed on unsupervised probation.
Prosecutor Bill Reedy said that if Mayfield completes probation “on good behavior,” Mayfield can petition the court to expunge the charge from his record.
Mayfield was ordered to make $100 restitution. That sum was “an arbitrary amount we just pulled out of the air,” Reedy said. He said Threadgill wasn’t able to give a specific damage amount for the tire stem. “It wasn’t a big deal to him (Threadgill),” Reedy said.
With court costs, Mayfield will pay around $500, Reedy said.
Judge David Loughry dismissed new Democratic Property Assessor Rob Mitchell’s campaign sign vandalism charges against past Republican Property Assessor Bill Boner Tuesday, reports the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. Mitchell, who won the Aug. 2 election, spent nearly all of his first official day in office at the County Judicial Building after he took out a warrant to have Boner arrested in July. He accused the incumbent of damaging a campaign banner that had been hanging on the side of a wall at the Premier 6 movie theater at Jackson Heights shopping center where Boner serves as the property manager.
Judge Loughry, though, said during the preliminary hearing that Boner had to respond to a Murfreesboro Building and Codes Department warning that the city only allows three temporary signs per property.
“Mr. Boner has the approved authority to determine the three signs,” Loughry ruled in determining there was no probably cause to send the case to a grand jury.
The judge noted that the sign in question was hung back up with duct tape before Mitchell agreed to take it down.
News release from TWRA:
CROSSVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced that Catoosa Wildlife Management Area located in Cumberland, Morgan, and Fentress counties will be re-opened to public access effective Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011.
Catoosa WMA has been officially closed since Aug. 8, 2011 due to vandalism in the form of nails, spikes, and nail boards placed in secondary roads and fields across the area. The WMA was closed for public safety concerns related to the vandalism.
Throughout the 12-day closure, TWRA personnel have worked to find and remove the dangerous materials. As a result of the cleanup effort, TWRA officials have made significant efforts to find and remove the hazardous material and now are reasonably assured that the WMA is safe again for public use.
News release from Tennessee Republican Party:
NASHVILLE, TN – Early Monday morning vandals spray painted a Hitler style mustache on the face of a Ronald Reagan mural in Cookeville. The mural, valued at $5,000, is painted on the side of the Putnam County GOP headquarters. TNGOP Chairman Chris Devaney has released the following statement regarding the incident:
“There is no room in our political process for acts of vandalism and the defacing of private property. What happened in Cookeville Sunday night to the County GOP Headquarters is unacceptable. Our country is facing serious issues regarding fiscal and economic stability, and it is time to have an adult discussion across the country and across the aisle.
“This act does nothing but draw lines in the sand that do not need to be drawn. As Ronald Reagan once said, ‘If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.’ The Republican Party will not tolerate the deplorable actions of a few to distract us from our goal of a fiscally responsible government and the creation of good-paying jobs for all Americans.”
Here’s a picture of the mural and Putnam County Republican Party Chairman Curtis Shinsky, which appeared in the Cookeville Herald-Citizen:
News release from state Department of Safety
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons announced Tuesday that the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) had issued an arrest warrant for a suspect charged for vandalizing the Tennessee State Capitol Building last month.
The THP’s Criminal Investigation Division issued an arrest warrant for Barbara Ann Smith, 37, of Murfreesboro on one count of vandalism over $1,000 (a class D felony). Smith is currently being held in the Rutherford County Detention Center for unrelated vandalism charges filed by the Murfreesboro Police Department. Upon being released from Rutherford County custody, Smith will be transported to Davidson County to face the charge in the Capitol graffiti case.
“I am proud of the work our Criminal Investigation Division put into this case. Initially, there was not much information to go on, but they followed up several leads and, ultimately, solved the case,” said Commissioner Gibbons.
In the early morning hours of June 19, state troopers on duty at the State Capitol discovered graffiti spray painted on the exterior walls of the building. The graffiti included hand-drawn pentagrams and the words “RIP TONY AL” and “WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE” spray painted in black. Surveillance video showed a hooded suspect near the scene.
“The State Capitol is the people’s house, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Capitol Security Unit is committed to securing it. We have taken increased steps to help ensure the safety of the building and those who work and visit there,” Commissioner Gibbons added.
The Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The sale of spray paint to minors will be banned in Shelby County, effective July 25.
The Shelby County Commission voted 9-3 on Monday to bar stores from selling cans of pressurized paint and so-called “graffiti sticks to anyone under 18 years old. Graffiti sticks contain a solid form of paint that is applied by pressure.
The ban will apply to areas of the county outside the city limits of Memphis, according to The Commercial Appeal.
Commissioner Henri E. Brooks sponsored the measure, which she calls the start of a war on graffiti.
Commissioner Heidi Shafer voted against the measure, saying the intent is good, but she doubts it will be effective and the ban will hurt merchants.
Two weekends in a row, vandals have attacked the historic state Capitol, notes Gail Kerr in a column. The first time, they splatted it with margarine and eggs — were they planning on baking a cake? This past weekend, at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, a lone vandal was caught on three surveillance videos spray-painting the Capitol for about five minutes with odd graffiti messages like “RIP Tony Al” and “GET OUT.”
There were also anarchy symbols near the sidewalk entrance, and “Welcome to the Jungle” painted on another side of the building. Cleanup was set to be completed Tuesday night. What’s shocking is not just the vandalism — it’s the apparent lack of outrage by state officials.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol handles security for the building, and it is investigating. Gov. Bill Haslam’s spokesman said the investigation was “being handled by the appropriate authorities.”
Shoot, if I were the governor, I’d be standing on the Capitol’s front steps and hollering at the top of my lungs that we won’t stand for our home to be treated like this.