County officials urged to hire attorneys in ouster suit as legal fees rise

Jay Yeager and Lynn Byrge

Anderson County Law Director Jay Yeager, left, the defendant in an ouster suit filed by a group of residents, is pictured with Lynn Byrge, one of the petitioners, during a Monday morning Anderson County Commission meeting.

 

Note: This story was last updated at 10:06 a.m. July 22.

CLINTON—The legal fees in a few high-profile disputes between top Anderson County officials could approach a half-million dollars, and Anderson County commissioners should all seek their own legal counsel in an ouster lawsuit filed against the law director, stunned commissioners were told Monday.

Subpoenas have already been issued in the ouster suit, and several officials, including a few County Commissioners, have reportedly received letters asking them to waive their attorney-client privilege.

Anderson County Commissioner Myron Iwanski, who is former interim mayor, said some of the records he’s been asked to provide go back 10 years, and some of them are personnel records. Iwanski said he needs legal representation because he doesn’t want to disclose anything improper, a mistake that could lead to another lawsuit.

“It’s about trying to do what’s right for the county,” Iwanski said.

He said former Anderson County Jail Administrator Avery Johnson has also been served with a subpoena and will need legal representation.

“This is just the start of the legal battle,” Iwanski said. [Read more...]

2014 Election: Anderson County primary voting totals

Anderson County Election Commission

Here are the unofficial election results for the contested races in the Democratic and Republican primaries in Anderson County on Tuesday. The results include all 27 precincts, early voting, and absentee ballots.

Anderson County mayor—Republican primary

  • Terry Frank—3,896 (53 percent)
  • Zach Bates—3,406 (47 percent)

Anderson County chancellor—Republican primary

  • Nichole “Nicki” Cantrell—3,895 (54 percent)
  • Michael S. Farley—2,979 (41 percent)
  • Phil Harber—368 (5 percent) [Read more...]

Anderson County elects first female chancellor

Anderson County Republican Party Candidates

Nicki Cantrell, second from right, who is running unopposed in the Aug. 7 general election after winning the Republican primary on Tuesday, will become Anderson County’s first female chancellor. Also pictured at right is Michael Farley, one of her two Republican opponents. The three GOP candidates for Juvenile Court judge are also pictured. From left they are Vickie Bannach, Lauren Biloski, and Brian Hunt, the winner of Tuesday’s Republican primary.

 

Terry Frank

Terry Frank

Note: This story was last updated at 4:10 p.m. May 7.

Primary Winners: Frank, Cantrell, Hunt, Lay, Clement

One is Anderson County’s first female mayor. The other will become the county’s first female chancellor.

The two candidates—Terry Frank and Nicki Cantrell—beat their opponents by significant margins in the Republican primary on Tuesday. Both said their victories were based in large part on running positive campaigns.

Cantrell’s victory over Clinton attorney and City Judge Michael Farley, who had the support of many other lawyers, appeared to be the big upset of the night in what had been the most heated race, with the two candidates clashing over their courtroom experience and trading accusations of false claims and “mudslinging.”

Zach Bates

Zach Bates

Both were running to replace the current chancellor, William Lantrip, who is retiring at the end of June after 25 years on the bench. The chancellor hears cases in Chancery Court ranging from divorces and adoptions to lawsuits and contract disputes, but can also sometimes hear Criminal Court cases, sit as the Circuit Court judge, and hear Juvenile Court appeals.

“Nobody believed we could do this,” Cantrell’s husband Dail Cantrell said Tuesday night. “We refused to run a negative campaign and got the support of the people.”

Nicki Cantrell won by about 900 votes, collecting 3,895 votes to Farley’s 2,979, according to unofficial results with all 27 precincts reporting. That’s roughly a 54 percent to 41 percent margin.

A third candidate, Republican Phil Harber, who did not appear to campaign as hard as either Farley or Cantrell, received 368 votes. [Read more...]

2014 Election: Frank says she’s kept her promise; Bates wants to focus on retail, housing

Terry Frank

Terry Frank

Zach Bates

Zach Bates

CLINTON—She says she’s kept her promise to protect Anderson County from higher taxes and worked to make government more efficient while improving customer service.

He says the county needs a more targeted approach to bringing in new retail and rebuilding the housing market.

The two candidates, incumbent Terry Frank and her challenger Zach Bates, face off in the Republican primary in Anderson County on Tuesday.

Frank was first elected in a special election in August 2012. She is the first female mayor of Anderson County and running for her first four-year term. She is completing the unexpired term of former mayor Rex Lynch, who resigned in January 2011.

Bates is a one-term Anderson County Commissioner who is not seeking re-election to that seat. [Read more...]

Meet mayor, sheriff candidates at AARP today

The local AARP chapter has organized an event today that will allow voters to meet candidates for Anderson County mayor and sheriff.

It starts at 1 p.m. at the Oak Ridge Senior Center. Those who attend are encouraged to bring a snack.

Candidates for mayor include the incumbent, Terry Frank, a Republican first elected in August 2012; her GOP opponent, Commissioner Zach Bates; and Democrat Jim Hackworth, a former state representative. [Read more...]

Meet mayor, sheriff candidates at AARP today

aarp-sheriff-mayor-candidates-0414-300x250

The local AARP chapter has organized an event today that will allow voters to meet candidates for Anderson County mayor and sheriff.

It starts at 1 p.m. at the Oak Ridge Senior Center. Those who attend are encouraged to bring a snack.

Candidates for mayor include the incumbent, Terry Frank, a Republican first elected in August 2012; her GOP opponent, Commissioner Zach Bates; and Democrat Jim Hackworth, a former state representative. [Read more...]

Voters can meet candidates for contested Anderson County offices

Democracy for East Tennessee has organized an April 15 event that will allow Anderson County voters the chance to meet candidates for four county offices before the May 6 primary election.

The four contested races are for Anderson County mayor, sheriff, chancellor, and Juvenile Court judge. Other offices on the primary ballot are not contested.

The “meet the candidates” event is scheduled from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, in the Oak Ridge Civic Center’s A/B Room.

“Democracy for East Tennessee is sponsoring this event so citizens of Anderson County can become better acquainted with the candidates for four Anderson County offices before the primary election on May 6,” the organization said in a press release. [Read more...]

Republican forum: Issues range from jobs, retail to drug courts, trial experience

Anderson County Republican Party Forum

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, center, gives an opening statement during a Tuesday night candidate forum for Republican Party candidates. Also pictured are Anderson County Commissioner Zach Bates, left, who is challenging Frank in the May 6 GOP primary, and Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Randy Myers, one of two Republican candidates for sheriff.

Note: This story was last updated at 11:45 a.m.

The starkest differences between any candidates at a Tuesday night Republican Party forum might have emerged in the race for Anderson County chancellor, where candidates Michael Farley and Nicki Cantrell clashed on questions of trial experience and whether the Chancery Court should ever be used to hear criminal cases.

In the race for sheriff, Republican candidates Anthony Lay and Randy Myers agreed on one key question: No federal inmates should be housed at the Anderson County jail.

In the race for mayor, Terry Frank, the incumbent, said she had presided over one of the few—and possibly the only—tax cut in Anderson County history, while her opponent, Commissioner Zach Bates, said the county’s biggest economic challenge is “retail leakage.” [Read more...]

Most Anderson commissioners seek re-election, six running in District 7 in OR

Anderson County Courthouse

The Anderson County Courthouse on Main Street in Clinton is pictured above.

There are six candidates running for Anderson County Commission in District 7 in Oak Ridge in August, and a Democrat has joined the race for Tennessee House of Representatives in the 33rd District.

Meanwhile, an Independent, Bradley S. Rickett, has joined the race for Anderson County mayor, competing against Democrat Jim Hackworth and the winner of the May 6 Republican primary, either the incumbent, Terry Frank, or her challenger, Commissioner Zach Bates.

Fourteen of the 16 Anderson County commissioners are seeking re-election to a four-year term. But Bates, from District 4 in the Lake City area, is not. And neither is Commissioner John Shuey. Shuey is one of two commissioners in District 7, which includes the Glenwood, Highland View, and Pine Valley precincts in Oak Ridge.

District 7 is the most competitive in terms of number of candidates. In addition to the incumbent, Jerry Creasey, other candidates include Jimmy Bouchard, Michael Marsh, Denny Phillips, Kevin Rice, and Theresa Scott.

District 3—which includes Andersonville, Fairview, Glen Alpine, and Norris—has five candidates, including the two incumbents, Steve Emert and Dusty Irwin. The other three candidates are Josh Anderson, David Farmer, and Philip Warfield. [Read more...]

Hackworth a Democratic candidate for AC mayor; more running for chancellor, juvenile judge

Jim Hackworth

Jim Hackworth

Former Tennessee Rep. Jim Hackworth has qualified to run in the May 6 Democratic primary for Anderson County mayor. He could take on the winner of the Republican primary—either the incumbent, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, or her challenger, Commissioner Zach Bates—in the Aug. 7 county general election.

Hackworth is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

The deadline to qualify as a candidate in the May 6 primaries was noon Thursday. There were four last-minute qualifiers, including Hackworth. Here are the others:

  • Nichole “Nicki” Cantrell joined Mike Farley and Phil Harber in the Republican primary for chancellor. [Read more...]

Anderson County primary deadline Thursday at noon

Information from WYSH Radio

The deadline to qualify as a candidate in any of the races on the ballot for Anderson County’s May 6 primaries is at noon Thursday.

Here is a look at who has qualified so far:

  • So far, only incumbent Judge Don Elledge has qualified to run for his seat as criminal and circuit judge.
  • Five people have qualified to run in the hotly-contested Juvenile Court judge primaries. Two Democrats—J. Michael Clement and David Dunkirk—are seeking the nomination, while three Republicans—Victoria Bannach, Lauren Biloski, and Brian Hunt—have qualified to seek their party’s nod to run for the seat in the August general election.
  • Brandon Fisher, the current Juvenile Court judge, had qualified to run for the Democratic nomination for chancellor, a seat coming open due to the retirement of William Lantrip, but he announced just a couple of weeks ago that he will be dropping out of the race to join a company in Pennsylvania. On the Republican side, Mike Farley and Phil Harber have qualified to appear on the May ballot. [Read more...]

Commissioner Bates opposing Mayor Frank in May Republican primary

Zach Bates Announces for Anderson County Mayor

Anderson County Commissioner Zach Bates, pictured at center with his wife Whitney, announces he is running for Anderson County mayor in the Republican primary in May.

CLINTON—Anderson County Commissioner Zach Bates on Tuesday announced he is running for Anderson County mayor in the Republican primary in May.

Bates, 25, will oppose Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, 45, who was elected to a two-year term in August 2012, completing the unexpired term of former mayor Rex Lynch, who resigned in January 2011.

The oldest of 19 children, Bates was 21 when he was elected to the Anderson County Commission  in 2010. He represents District 4, which includes Lake City and Briceville. County officials said he is the youngest mayoral candidate they can recall.

His challenge to Frank might have appeared unexpected. The two have at times appeared to be politically aligned, including, for example, on the citizen-led initiative to install “In God We Trust” signs on the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton in July 2013. [Read more...]