published Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield seeks rehearing in recall case

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Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield has asked the Tennessee Court of Appeals to rehear a case the court dismissed last week.

Attorneys for Littlefield shipped his petition for rehearing Tuesday, arguing that the court’s dismissal “misapprehends” facts agreed on by all the parties to the case. The petition also argues that the trial court may issue a declaratory judgment against an election commission in a situation like the one Littlefield faced.

In the summer of 2010, Citizens to Recall Mayor Littlefield, Chattanooga Organized for Action and the Chattanooga Tea Party began a campaign to oust the mayor. The groups gathered more than 15,000 signatures and the election commission validated more than 9,000 of them.

State law requires that more than 14,854 signatures be collected, while the Chattanooga charter calls for more than 9,600.

Before the election commission voted to certify the results, Littlefield filed suit. In October 2010, Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hollinsworth stopped the recall.

The election commission already had voted to act under the City Charter, and all the parties to the case agreed on that, Littlefield’s lawyer Hal North said. But North argues the appellate court’s dismissal last week did not accept that fact, which led to the misapplication of law.

“The legal determinations had already been made by the election commission,” North said.

The appellate court’s opinion found that the trial court lacked jurisdiction and prematurely stopped the election commission from voting.

If the Court of Appeals denies the rehearing, Littlefield can appeal the dismissal to the Tennessee Supreme Court. North said such a move appeared likely.

Jim Folkner, with Citizens to Recall Mayor Littlefield, reacted to Littlefield’s petition.

“I think people have figured out by now that Mr. Littlefield goes to court to stay in power, to fight the police rather than the gangs and to have costly annexations rather than a responsible city budget,” he said.

Staff writer Cliff Hightower contributed to this report.

about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

about Judy Walton...

Judy Walton has worked 25 years at the Chattanooga Times and the Times Free Press as an editor and reporter focusing on government coverage and investigations. At various times she has been an assistant metro editor, region reporter and editor, county government reporter, government-beat team leader, features editor and page designer. Originally from California, Walton was brought up in a military family and attended a dozen schools across the country. She earned a journalism degree ...

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chrisbrooks said...

This article is factually inaccurate. The City Charter requires 50% of the number who voted in the last mayoral election, the Hamilton County Election Commission determined this number to be 8,957 - see the Election Commission minutes: http://elect.hamiltontn.gov/citizen/Election%20Comm%20Minutes/2010%20Minutes/2010-8-23.pdf

The Recallers went well above this number having around 9,600 verified signatures.

For more information visit www.chattaction.org>

fedup350 said...

All Littlefield is doing is stalling to stay in Office until the last minute. he can play our weak court system like a fiddle. What does this tell you about the man though. Always scheming. Only in it for himself. Easily the most hated man in the Tennessee Valley

November 10, 2011 at 4:40 p.m.
Ninna said...

All this group is doing is spending more money for no reason. Please spend your time volunteering,spend the money on people who need it. This re-callers group is welcome to come to church and we will pray for them. So much time on their hands for nothing. Think of something worth while to do with your time. Save a whale, save a wild horse any thing but this over and over is really getting OLD!

November 10, 2011 at 9:05 p.m.
Emersization said...

That's pretty bad somebody has to fight to keep their job. This proves he knows he won't find work anyplace else.

Mayor Littlefield, the people have spoken and asked you to kindly leave, so please respect the laws and the power of the voters and leave! Thank you!

November 12, 2011 at 2:57 p.m.
sage1 said...

Actually, that is what Littlefield is doing Ninna. He's spending money for no other reason than to fight against the will of those that put him in office to start with. Now, those people are not happy with him nor the direction he's taking the city.

Every pole says he ought to go by a huge majority. He should just let the recall election proceed and see just how much he is loved in this city.

November 22, 2011 at 11:55 a.m.
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