Mar 14 2008

The same Mayor who thought it was okay to dig into the files of a private citizen for apparently political purposes, thinks it is a crime for another elected official to bring forth legitimate questions from her constituents?


Perhaps we have become that which we feared: a subdivision of Russia where people can be arrested for asking questions about the powers-that-be.

Flashback, JC quote


"There's a mind-set that business here is done by good old boys in dark, smoke-filled back rooms, and it's going to take a while for us to change that, but we're trying to make government as open and transparent as possible.

"Openness drives accountability and we're going to keep it open and look for ways to make it more open."

Um dude, she ask a policy question and one would think that with the mayor's statement above someone could have given a simple answer to Ms Reeves question.

Um dude, she ask a policy

Um dude, she ask a policy question and one would think that with the mayor's statement above someone could have given a simple answer to Ms Reeves question.

Yes, with all the bluster of lawsuits and the he said / she said, the question remains; How does a towing estimate of $75.00 when the BCSO is not involved, get to be a $300.00 bill when the BCSO does get involved? Although it's a pretty simple question, the person representing the sheriff didn't have an answer.

BTW - I'm listing definitions for the word commission. I'm doing so in order to head off the sheriff coming back after the fact and stating; 'Oh, you mean that _________ charge we "have" to include because of "CALEA" or a state or federal "mandate"' or what ever inevitable BS will be forthcoming. A "commission" does not have to mean a "kickback" or a "spiff" or anything accusatory - it can simply be a charge or an order. Again, the only thing we do know is there is a price difference in a direct quote from the towing company as opposed to a BCSO involved pick up.

1. the act of committing or giving in charge.
2. an authoritative order, charge, or direction.
3. authority granted for a particular action or function.
4. a document granting such authority.
5. a document conferring authority issued by the president of the U.S. to officers in the Army, Navy, and other military services, and by state governments to justices of the peace and others.
6. the power thus granted.
7. the position or rank of an officer in any of the armed forces.
8. a group of persons authoritatively charged with particular functions: a parks commission.
9. the condition of being placed under special authoritative responsibility or charge.
10. a task or matter committed to one's charge; official assignment: The architect received a commission to design an office building.

The amount of the towing

The amount of the towing charge for the person who was at the Commission meeting is not the important issue. The $75 was for extracting the car from the ditch. The $300 was for extracting it and towing it to the wrecker yard. If the owner of the car had been notified that her car was being extracted from the ditch, she could have gone there and driven it away herself, thus not having a tow bill on top of the extraction bill. But nobody called her, even though the BCSO certainly knew who the car was registered to.

Two cars

Just a reminder folks that this whole thing started in last month's commission meeting where one citizen spoke and this week WPR was talking about a second incident.

Looks like he's BUSTED!

Man, oh man! Is the sheriff worried? His reaction is very, very interesting. A press release?! He's coming out swinging (and whining) all because of a LEGITIMATE question? Dude! You are BUSTED! No one cries this much unless they have something to hide!

If towing companies ARE charging extra and they can follow that money back to the sheriff's office, the sheriff himself, or his cronies--BINGO! The TBI should turn over this investigation to the FBI.

Not to threadjack you or anything...

The article you linked to struck me as I re-read it. I distinctly remember hearing the mayor say that BC has grown at a steady rate of 2 percent a year for the last 100 years (at the PPE meeting).

Then, in the article you just linked he says...

Cunningham said that while Tennessee grew at a rate of 6 percent, Blount County grew at a rate of 11 percent since the last census. He said the county was becoming more diverse and that created an opportunity for Blount County to learn how things are done elsewhere.

So which is it? How frustrating. Not only does he avoid really answering even the simplest questions, but now he is finagling statistics to fit whatever his current agenda happens to be.

2010 can't come soon enough.

In Oregon, there's a fee for

In Oregon, there's a fee for a "non-preference tow": (link...) They also do it in Utah and probably lots of other places. It comes into play when the deputy calls for the tow instead of the driver. It probably has to do with all the paperwork involved for the department.

I did not know it was illegal here to charge such a fee and I bet Pitts didnt either. I sure didnt know it was illegal to even mention it. God, what a backwater.

If they can shut up the

If they can shut up the people asking questions they will have full reign to do as they please. When did a question become an allegation? Are we not allowed to ask questions of our elected officials? Are we living in China? Are our commissioners to sit down, shut up and accept all that is told to them on face value. Thank goodness for commissioners like Reeves who has the fortitude to ask questions. Imagine what state of affairs we will would be in if we had no one to question anything.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Over before it starts?

"This has become a pattern of conduct by Commissioner Reeves," Berrong said. "Upon completion of the TBI investigation, we will then address Ms. Reeves' false and slanderous remarks."

The sheriff should add psychic to his resume. It appears through his own words he knows how the TBI investigation will end.

False and slanderous

False and slanderous ... interesting choice of words considering recent events

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

WPR did not say anything

WPR did not say anything either false or slanderous. She reported that a constituent had told her that an employee of a BC wrecker service had told him/her that their fees were high because they had to pay the sheriff's department a commission. WPR did not say it was true, just that someone had told her the remark. This could only be false on the part of WPR if in fact no one told her the story, which I do not believe, and which no one could prove anyway.

Personally, I think this is

Personally, I think this is all about getting back at her for her recent blog post.

Ethics Legislation, Anyone?

Mayor Jerry Cunningham "...thought it was okay to dig into the files of a private citizen for apparently political purposes..."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we pass "ethics legislation" in this state last year that includes TCA 39-16-404?

"MISUSE OF OFFICIAL INFORMATION" TCA 39-16-404 - Prohibits a public servant from attaining a benefit or aiding another person in attaining a benefit from information which was obtained in an official capacity and is not available to the public.

I'm pretty sure that the same ethics legislation included TCA 39-16-403.

"OFFICIAL OPPRESSION" TCA 39-16-403 - prohibits abuse of power by public servant.

Funny how the BC District Attorney Mike Flynn always does the bidding of the sheriff and county mayor but absolutely refuses to do the bidding of the taxpayers. We wouldn't have any problems like this if the laws of this state actually applied to everyone including the Lambert Camp of politics in Blount County and Mike Flynn would just do his job.

If Mike Flynn and Robert Headrick had been doing their jobs to begin with, there would already be an investigation by the TBI of "kick-backs" and "commissions" within the sheriff's department. Come to think of it, there would probably be several investigations into the "illegal and unethical conduct" that we all know exists in the BCSO and King Jerry's office.

If Mike Flynn and Robert Headrick were worth a flip, I truly believe that most of the R.I.N.O. Republicans currently holding office would be headed to prison or at the very least, out of office.

What is it that Mike Flynn and Robert Headrick do in this county anyways besides recieve a paycheck for keeping their "special friends" out of conflict and trouble? We need a regime change in the local DA's office!

I read the article in the Daily Times about this issue and am very concerned with several of the comments made by people who swore to represent "We the People" but have yet to represent anybody but the Republican/Lambert/Development machine.

We actually got to hear our illustrious sheriff use the whole "politically motivated" spill again. Ol' Jimbo just doesn't get any smarter does he? He's so sure that he's going to do what to WPR?LMAO

"Upon completion of the TBI investigation, we will then address Ms. Reeves false and slanderous remarks."-Jimbo

What a joke! Keep in mind that the FBI is actually investigating the TBI for the way in which they have investigated the BCSO in the past.

The comments that belong to Commissioner French are simply par for the course also. I guess we all know now who pulls his strings............ the Lambert Camp. He's just another converted stooge for the powers that be. Funny how a little power and influence can make some people forget where they came from.

King Jerry even went so far as to contradict his own accusations.
"She said she HEARD the sheriff's office was taking commissions."
Did she say that she heard it or did she say that they actually were taking commissions? Are they? How will you find out if you don't ask?

The above is a perfect example of how these morons tend to "shoot their own feet out from underneath themselves." All that these idiots have to do to prove OUR points is to open their ignorant mouthes. Does anybody else see this? They never really give you the answer. They just create more questions in their arguments like the so-called "missing cars" being online now and out in the "open". Now that's a farce if I've ever seen one!

Keep up the good work Jerry and Jimbo, you are representing your INTERESTS well!

"Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest." -Ol' Ben Franklin

Flynn is their Friend


Mike Flynn is, like Cunningham, Berrong, Bennett, Goddard (the list could go on and on) a member of the GOB club. He has no intention of upsetting the Republican apple cart even though he's well aware of the sheriff's shenanigans. All of them contribute to each others campaigns, confer on every issue and lobby on each others behalf. It's a GOB love fest. (ugly visual)

So, don't expect Flynn to "do the right thing." He won't. If he had ANY intention of fulfilling his oath of office, he would have done it long before now.

Commissioner French

Commissioner French is one of the few Blount County officials with that R behind their name that I actually respect. French did speak out about these towing issues right after WPR spoke in the WorkSession. I think he was the only other CC that was able to speak before JrKing Samples shut down the whole discussion.

Knowing how the DT takes parts of quotes to spin them to favor the local machine, I do believe the damning French quotes are taken out of context. French did vote in favor of the BCSO coming under a county wide vehicle policy but all the talk of said vehicle policy has been pushed aside to spin the WPR issue.

Not so fast

I'm not sure how French's comments could be out of context (even by the DT). I mean, he clearly knew he was talking about Reeves and her questions here:

Blount County Commissioner Ron French said he personally thought Reeves' comments were in "bad taste" and were just "hearsay."

Bad taste?

And there's this:

"I don't think she was making any accusations, but I don't know what her reasonings were behind bringing it up," he said.

How about she asked some questions to get some answers? No mystery there. For him to allege there are different reasons for her asking questions is just singing from Cunningham/Berrong's songbook.

Any commissioner who would discredit another for asking questions on behalf of a constituent is not deserving of our support. French has evidently become part of the problem and not the solution. Said another way, he has apparently gone over to the dark side.

And for heaven's sake, please tell me the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation does NOT spend our tax dollars investigating the motivation behind questions. Even politically motivated questions. Like: Can healthcare professionals serve on the county commission?

"I think it would be a good idea."
-Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization

Do you know the term Push Poll?

I am not for tossing French under the bus until I know just what question was ask for him to respond the way he is quoted.

Respect for French...................

"French did speak out about these towing issues right after WPR spoke in the WorkSession."

Why was Ron French quoted in the paper as saying the he didn't know what WPR's reasoning was and that her "questioning of the sheriff" was in "bad taste".

I can assure you that this isn't the first time that Ron French has made a fool out of himself on behalf of the "brass" in his party. I saw him make a complete idiot out of himself at an Ethics Committee meeting while standing up for the Lamberts.

Ever since this little tantrum I have had absolutley no respect for him. He has evidentally bought into his party's philosophy on double standards: the general citizenry is expected to live by the law, while King Jerry and Sheriff Jimbo (and other club members)just do what they want whether their actions are inside the bounds of the law or not. Doesn't matter to the Lambert Camp.

If you think that Commissioner French is "one of the good guys" at this point then it is my educated opinion that you have French pegged all wrong..........he doesn't wear a white hat anymore! Or did he ever?

"All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.

By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.

If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed."
-Adolf Hitler

Ol' Adolf sounds a little like our mayor and sheriff doesn't he!

"It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right".
-Henry David Thoreau

Now don't go quoting the LAW

RD72, sounds like you've been around here long enough to know laws aren't something all of us have to follow;


..the suit quotes Cunningham as saying during the rally: "On the Wright case -- that thing has been back and forth since heck was a pup. There's been more litigation and more lawyers and more foolishness that's gone on in that case and none of it's been Judge Young's fault but he gets brandished over it. You know the furniture that was burned to stay warm? That was furniture awarded to that man (Wright's ex-husband) by the court. It was his momma's antique furniture and his ex-wife set it on fire."

Leads us here;

"MISUSE OF OFFICIAL INFORMATION" TCA 39-16-404 - Prohibits a public servant from attaining a benefit or aiding another person in attaining a benefit from information which was obtained in an official capacity and is not available to the public.

Mock trial;

Judge: "Mr. Cunningham, how did you get the particulars of this case?"

Cunningham: "Either from my former lawyer (Wright) or my "old high school friend" the Judge (Young) - I can't remember"

Judge: "Either way, could any citizen have obtained the same information?"

Cunningham: "No"

Judge: "Based, TCA 39-16-404, you are guilty. No matter how your lawyers parse it, who sends me a letter on your behalf, or how long you've known whoever - You are guilty."

I know it won't be that easy, but there is no reason it shouldn't be. His words are on tape. This law (TCA 39-16-404) is as easy to read as a posted 55 mph speed limit. We'll see if Jerry has to account for violations of the law like the rest of us. At least we'll get to see this in Knox County.

There again, the downfall is the DA's Office....................

There are two people in this county that can "ouster" a public servant who has violated the 2006 ethics legislation that evidentally nobody in Blount County office cares about least not the Lambert Camp anyways.

One is King Jerry...........the other is District Attorney General Mike Flynn. Mike Flynn is knee-deep in the Lambert Camp's version of "Good Government." Always has been.

With these two facts in mind, judging from Mike Flynn's track record of high profile filler and "deals" for their special friends in their party, do we have a china-man's chance in Hades of bringing these "criminals" to justice?

Some one needs to remind Mike Flynn about T.C.A. 39-16-402.

Official Misconduct - T.C.A. 39-16-402 applies to public servants and candidates for office and prohibits unauthorized exercise of official power, acting in an official capacity exceeding the servant's power, REFUSAL TO PERFORM A DUTY IMPOSED BY LAW, violating a law relating to the servant's office or employment, and recieving a benefit not provided by law.

Mike Flynn has without a doubt REFUSED to prosecute his special friends in his party and has done so for a very long time now. When was the last time that you saw one of our local well-to-do Lamberts/Republicans get prosecuted for anything? It sure isn't because they are upstanding and it sure isn't because they aren't capable of committing crime.

Again, if Mike Flynn and Robert Headrick were doing their jobs to begin with, we wouldn't be dealing with local officials in office who like to disregard the law in order to push the private agenda of the Lambert Camp.

The third downfall would be the sheriff but since we ALL already know he's part of the problem, I didn't feel the need to address his shortcomings again. I'm sure I'll get another chance in the future knowing this guy.

"The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." -Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)

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