Hearing delayed on Chattanooga Councilman Chris Anderson recall question

Hearing delayed on Chattanooga Councilman Chris Anderson recall question

March 11th, 2014 by Joy Lukachick Smith in Local Regional News

Chris Anderson

Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press.

A hearing Monday to consider whether a recall effort to oust Chattanooga Councilman Chris Anderson should be halted until a judge rules on the merits of a lawsuit Anderson filed to block the recall will be rescheduled.

Stuart James, Anderson's attorney, agreed to give the state more time since Anderson added the state and Chattanooga to his lawsuit last week.

Anderson's lawsuit was filed in mid-February to block a group of District 7 residents, who are in the process of gathering signatures for a petition that would allow the voters to decide in August if Anderson should be unseated. The lawsuit also asked Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hollingsworth to find the state statute and city ordinance unconstitutional.

The openly gay councilman claims the motive behind the petition drive to recall him is because he is gay, and he says current state law is flawed because it allows such discrimination.

But Anderson's opponents argue they knew he was gay when they voted for him. They say they are unhappy with his performance in office.

The hearing, which was to consider a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and a motion to block the petition from going forward, hasn't been rescheduled.

So far the Hamilton County Election Commission has certified 165 signatures of the 1,600 needed by the April 29 deadline.

Contact staff writer Joy Lukachick at jlukachick@timesfreepress.com.