Apr 17 2008

Back in 2005, Joe McCord's dad, Keith McCord wanted to put a lot of condos in near a wetland at Crosscreek, there on Carpenters Grade Road and Sandy Springs.

The Maryville Board of Zoning Appeals turned it down.

Keith McCord sued them.

Meanwhile, Joe McCord puts in some legislation to de-list some 3,000 waterways and it seems a little obvious that this would benefit a development that would disturb a wetland, if a claim can be made that it is a wet-weather wetland.

But in today's paper, there's an article that Joe McCord's Legislation, which he had energetically defended before, has been "watered down" now to just cleaning up the Nolichucky River and another article that Chancellor Forgerty has "set aside" the BZA's decision in Keith McCord's favor for his condo complex. Strangely, this happened Feb. 1st and we are only now hearing about it.

If you want to go see how this series of coincidences play out, there's a meeting tonight:

The Board of Zoning Appeals will meet at 5 p.m. today for a briefing from attorneys about the ruling.

"Concerns raised by citizens relative to traffic is a matter that may be reviewed and considered by the Maryville Regional Planning Commission at the next requested approval phase of the property development ... if permitted by the applicable laws and regulations," the ruling states.

No machine here people, move along...

Wow. What a coincidence! After Judge Meares set his policy on not taking money from the legal community, a few in that community came out strongly in Letters to the Editor. The letters stated giving money did not give anyone any advantages in anyone's courtroom. Andy, it's a good thing you and I recognize this as just "coincidence" and not something that would be a design of a "machine" that doesn't exist. Although they are pretty awesome "coincidences", I guess that's just the "luck" of the non-machine members.

I wonder if Chancellor Telford Forgety's campaign contribution list looks anything like candidate Duggan's;

Duggan, on the other hand, took in $50,750 in campaign contributions — with $41,500 coming from people donating $100 or more. Of that amount, $11,250 came from people listing their occupation as an attorney — attorneys Craig Garrett, David Boyd, Carl McDonald, Robert Goddard and Arthur Goddard each gave $1,000, the maximum allowed by law. Other attorneys who donated to Duggan include: Brent Johnson, Maryville, Robert S. English, Knoxville, Tommy Hindman, Knoxville, Stephen S. Ogle, Maryville, Damon Wooten, Maryville, Duncan V. Crawford, Maryville, Joe H. Nicholson, Maryville, David T. Black, Maryville, Norman Newton, Maryville, L. Lee Kull, Alcoa, Bruce E. Poston, Knoxville, Gary M. Prince, Knoxville, James M. Garner, Maryville, Chris Conner, Maryville, Eugene B. Dixon, Maryville, W. Keith McCord, Knoxville, Jon G. Roach, Knoxville, Robert H. Watson Jr., Knoxville, Ronald C. Leadbetter, Knoxville, Daphne Moffatt, Maryville, and Jason C. Rose, Maryville. The list also includes Blount County Assistant District Attorneys Robert Headrick and Tammy Harrington, and Blount County Public Defender Mack Garner.

Other names of note who contributed to Duggan’s campaign include sitting Blount County Judges W. Dale Young and Mike A. Gallegos, Blount County Sheriff James Berrong and Blount County Mayor, and former U.S. Attorney, Jerry Cunningham.


A couple of the people named as contributors...

A couple of those contributors have vested interest in Duggan winning this campaign. His replacement as Sessions judge will be chosen by our mostly Republican county commission (NOT the voters, since he would be leaving mid-term) and will most likely come from among the names on that list. If it were me, I'd be contributing money, stuffing envelopes, or whatever, too.

While I know it is perfectly legal for a sitting judge to accept donations from lawyers whose cases he hears in court, it would make me feel a little hinky to know my lawyer opponent gave a thousand bucks while I know I could only afford $100, or some such comparatively small sum. And certainly, I'd suffer some angst as a client in such a situation.

"Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference." --Voltaire

What do Duggan's campaign

What do Duggan's campaign contributions have to do with Forgety?

I don't know, that's why I

I don't know, that's why I said "I wonder". His campaign contributors may show nothing or another lucky coincidence. However you may be right in that I should have known the answer before posing the question. Do you know which county would have a copy of his campaign contribution lists?

Can you only go before the Board of Zoning Appeals once? I don't think it cost anything to make your case to them. But I guess when you're a lawyer there aren't many legal fees associated with having something "set aside".

I think Chancery Court

I think Chancery Court judges are elected in their respective counties, so I guess Blount Co. Election Commission would have the campaign finance disclosures. Looks like Forgerty was elected in 2006. I believe it is for an eight year term.

Don't know about your second question. Wonder what the appeals process is? (Don't know that, either.)

Cross Creek Inc. filed its

Cross Creek Inc. filed its application for the special exception permit with the Maryville BZA on Nov. 1, 2005, and the board held a hearing on Nov. 17, 2005. The hearing drew an "extraordinarily large number of people" opposing the development, according to the lawsuit.


Good thing the United States Constitution starts out (in great big letters) "WE THE LAWYERS..", oh wait, it doesn't go that way? My bad. I guess I've just lived here too long.


Forgety's order, which was filed Feb. 1, did trim the proposed development down to 17 acres. The Board of Zoning Appeals will meet at 5 p.m. today for a briefing from attorneys about the ruling.

I can't wait to read tomorrow's report after they had today's briefing. It is really hard to believe that a judge who was ask to set aside a BZA ruling could come back with his own definition/determination of what the builder can do.

Or did he? Flashback via the DT to 2005


McCord argued that the parcel in question was technically not part of the multi-phased Cross Creek subdivision, but board Chairman Fred Metz produced Cross Creek Inc.'s original concept plan for the property, which included the 17-acre tract in question. There was, Metz said, "no mention of attached houses at that time." He frowned on what he termed McCord's "after-the-fact" attempt to incorporate townhouses into the plat, and moved for denial. His motion passed.

The McCords


It's always been interesting that Keith McCord, an attorney, developer and a democrat, has cozied up to the Blount political machine. If I recall correctly his wife is from the Lambert clan. Maybe that's the connection.

Of course, he gets a free "family matters" pass for donations to his son, Rep. Joe McCord who is a Republican. BTW-Chancellor Forgerty is also a Republican. He serves several counties--Blount, Sevier and Loudon?

I'm curious do any local democrats know if Keith McCord is active in the Blount democratic party? If not, why? Any thoughts out there? Maybe he's just a republican posing as a democrat?


Chancellor Forgety-

Jefferson, Sevier, Cocke, Grainger and Blount Counties


Thomas F. Mabry
P. O. Box 52385
Knoxville, TN 37950

Fax 1-888-215-3119
Phone 1-865-671-0598

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports