published Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

John Wolfe cries foul in Louisiana primary

Chattanooga attorney and presidential candidate John Wolfe said Tuesday he plans to file suit after the Louisiana Democratic Party denied him at least three delegates to the national convention.

“They’re trying to have a coronation [of President Barack Obama] rather than a nomination,” said Wolfe. “It’s just not fair.”

Wolfe, a frequent, unsuccessful candidate for local office, won more than 17,000 votes and almost 12 percent of voters in Louisiana’s March primary. But the state’s Democratic Party said Wolfe isn’t eligible for delegates because he failed to meet qualification requirements.

“Mr. Wolfe is not eligible for any delegates,” said James Hallinan, the state party’s communications and research director, in an email.

Wolfe failed to comply with the party’s delegate selection plan and missed party deadlines, Hallinan said.

But problems in Louisiana aren’t the only issues with which Wolfe is dealing.

Last week, he received a public censure from the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Responsibility. And a filing with the Hamilton County Register of Deeds shows a 2010 notice of federal tax lien with an unpaid balance of nearly $900,000.

Wolfe said he’s sorry about what happened leading to the public censure and that it doesn’t affect his ability to practice law. He added that he doesn’t owe that much in federal taxes, a situation he termed is “a misunderstanding.”

“Those are old problems that are being shaped up,” he said.

The Board of Professional Responsibility said Wolfe was hired to represent a client in a personal injury action against a Veterans’ Administration Hospital. However, he untimely mailed a federal notice of claim and untimely filed a lawsuit after the claim was denied, causing the lawsuit to be dismissed, the board said.

Wolfe also failed to notify his client that the notice of claim was denied and the suit dismissed, according to the board, and also didn’t return numerous messages or appear for scheduled appointments with his client.

Concerning the Louisiana election, Wolfe said he will try to file suit in federal court in Baton Rouge within the next three or four days.

“I’m going to seek the delegates I’m entitled to,” he said.

Wolfe said he plans to keep running in other states as well. He said he is on the ballots in Arkansas and Texas, and he plans to become a write-in candidate in California.

“The rest of the party needs a voice,” Wolfe said. “We need to have something that will help everybody and not a few.”

In 2010, Wolfe drew 28 percent of the vote as the Democratic nominee against U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., for Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District.

Business Editor Dave Flessner contributed to this story.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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