Judy Walton (Reporter)

Phone: 423-757-6416
E-mail: JWalton@timesfreepress.com
Judy Walton has been a reporter and editor at the Times Free Press and its predecessor, The Chattanooga Times, since 1987. As a reporter, Walton focused 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 from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky., in 1984 and worked at two Kentucky newspapers before moving to Chattanooga in 1987. Her investigative pieces include allegations of medical malpractice at Chattanooga's Veterans Affairs clinic — stories that led to a federal investigation and a series of reforms. She was the first to report on massive ground and water pollution at the former Volunteer Army Ammunition Depot (now the VW assembly plant); during the first year of her stories on the quality and timetable for repairing the damage, federal government funding for cleanup tripled. More recently, she and colleague Cliff Hightower reported on financial irregularities at the Tennessee Multicultural Chamber of Commerce, which led Chattanooga and Hamilton County governments to withdraw funding for the organization.

U.S. Rep. DesJarlais announces re-election bid

Published Oct. 17 2017

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais on Tuesday formally announced he is seeking re-election to a fifth term as Tennessee's 4th District...

Local reaction to Boy Scouts' decision to welcome girls mirrors national response

Published Oct. 16 2017

Thomas Nelson, of Athens, Tenn., is in a perfect position to talk about the Boy Scouts of America's decision to...

Commissioners clash over lawyer's bill for representing Bradley County Sheriff's Office

Published Oct. 3 2017

Some Bradley County commissioners clashed Monday over a local attorney's $2,675 bill for representing the Bradley County Sheriff's Office during...

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson now faces 12 new felony counts

Published Sep. 20 2017

A Bradley County, Tenn., grand jury indicted Sheriff Eric Watson on 12 new felony charges Wednesday, as two state agencies...

Bradley commissioner questions deputies' private security work in storm-hit states [video]

Published Sep. 19 2017

Monster Hurricane Irma dropped some fast cash on some Bradley County deputies for pulling guard duty at Target and Walmart...

Wacker staying closed until blast cause found, fixed

Published Sep. 8 2017

A Wacker Polysilicon official said Friday the chemical explosion that sent a cloud of hydrochloric acid into the air and...

Explosion at Wacker is second incident within eight days [video]

Published Sep. 7 2017

An explosion at the Wacker Polysilicon plant closed down nearby roadways for several hours and worried residents in Bradley County...

Bradley County schools closed Friday, eight people treated after Wacker explosion

Published Sep. 7 2017

All Bradley County schools will be closed on Friday, Sept. 8 as a precautionary measure.

Commissioners satisfied state can dive deep into Bradley County Sheriff's Office finances

Published Sep. 6 2017

Bradley County commissioners looking for someone to do a deep dive into the sheriff's office's finances seemed satisfied Tuesday that...

Manhunt subject says he's being billed $11,000 for Bradley K-9 bite

Published Aug. 27 2017

In a video visitation room at the Polk County Jail, Gary Lee Lipps Jr. pulled up his orange jail jumpsuit...

Female inmate's brother files complaint against Bradley County sheriff over jail 'bullying'

Published Aug. 22 2017

The brother of a female inmate has filed a formal complaint against Bradley County (Tenn.) Sheriff Eric Watson over what...

Bradley County to look into sheriff's office finances after allegations of fraud

Published Aug. 22 2017

Scrutiny of the Bradley County Sheriff's Office's finances tightened a couple of notches Monday when county commissioners voted to move...

Bradley County Sheriff's Office forensic audit still on the table, but some residents call for end to 'witch hunt'

Published Aug. 15 2017

A financial fraud expert gave Bradley County commissioners a simple analogy Monday to explain the difference between the county's regular...

Trial date set for Bradley County sheriff

Published Aug. 10 2017

A Nov. 27 trial date has been set for Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson on six felony counts of holding...

Plan to lease office space in Bradley County workhouse under fire with surprise bid

Published Aug. 9 2017

A proposal to lease office space in the new Bradley County workhouse ran into a snag Monday night when a...

Bradley County commissioners discuss forensic audit of sheriff's office

Published Aug. 8 2017

The recent indictment of Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson on six felony counts, atop multiple allegations of misspent or missing...

Bradley County sheriff goes on two-state manhunt for wife's bail skip [video]

Published Jul. 30 2017

The episode lends weight to complaints from the Bradley County bail bonding community of a thumb on the scales in...

DeKalb deputy, K-9 officer involved in accident after hitting bull

Published Jul. 28 2017

A bull on the highway proved disastrous for a DeKalb County, Ala., deputy late Thursday night.

Eric Watson was booked into his own jail, posted bond on six felony counts and then went back to work

Published Jul. 21 2017

Sheriff Eric Watson arrived at the Bradley County Sheriff's Office on Friday morning, was booked into his own jail and...

Grand jury hears evidence against Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson

Published Jul. 19 2017

Evidence in the year-long investigation of Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson was presented to a grand jury Wednesday, the spokesman...