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.

Report: Magistrate problems bigger than vacation payouts

Published Aug. 17 2018

Based on a report from their new chief magistrate that describes a program limping along in disarray, Hamilton County commissioners...

District 26 case moves closer to deadline with no action [document]

Published Aug. 16 2018

Tennessee Democrats' lawsuit to keep the Republican candidate off the ballot in House District 26 ran into another delay Thursday...

Hamilton County, Airbnb ink pact on lodging tax collections

Published Aug. 15 2018

Hotel-motel tax collections in Hamilton County are about to skyrocket, Hamilton County Trustee Bill Hullander told county commissioners Wednesday.

Chattanooga City Council puts hold on city's surplus buildings request

Published Aug. 14 2018

Unable to provide specifics to the Chattanooga City Council or the public about its plans for disposing of three city-owned...

Lawsuit hearing on Tennessee House District 26 ballot delayed

Published Aug. 13 2018

Tennessee Democrats are having a tough time getting their lawsuit over what they say is an illegal ballot substitution in...

Judicial commissioners violate contracts by cashing in on unused vacation time

Published Aug. 9 2018

The Hamilton County Commission's own records prove windfall payments to judicial commissioners for unused vacation time were made in violation...

Commissioners must decide whether to go after money wrongly paid to magistrates

Published Aug. 8 2018

A policy change and missing paperwork have Hamilton County commissioners facing a tough decision: whether to try to retrieve nearly...

Public prods council on PILOTs, sale of city buildings

Published Aug. 7 2018

A routine business session for the Chattanooga City Council ended with something of a bang Tuesday as city residents pressed...

Local Republican leaders call for unity

Published Aug. 6 2018

The bumps and bruises from Thursday's intramural squabble might still be tender, but now it's time to forget them and...

Esther Helton wins in District 30

Published Aug. 2 2018

Negative campaigning failed to be a ticket to office in the House District 30 Republican primary, while the District 28...

Coppinger wins handily in county mayor race

Published Aug. 2 2018

In the campaign for Hamilton County mayor, Republican incumbent Jim Coppinger cruised to an easy victory over Democratic challenger Aloyse...

Election officials rush remedy when some voting district lines found wrongly drawn

Published Aug. 1 2018

In an election season full of surprises, this may be the biggest one yet: At least several hundred Hamilton County...

Chattanooga City Council splits on City Court judge question

Published Jul. 31 2018

A tie vote in the Chattanooga City Council means a proposed charter amendment to shrink the size of City Court...

Mailer alleges Marty Haynes gave Esther Helton a property tax break

Published Jul. 30 2018

Hamilton County Assessor of Property Marty Haynes on Monday adamantly denied a campaign allegation that House District 30 Republican candidate...

District 30 spat boils over

Published Jul. 26 2018

While the one-of-a-kind race to replace state Rep. Gerald McCormick simmers temporarily on the back burner, the GOP primary contest...

Court vacates Marion County bail bonding firm's suspension over 'sextortion'

Published Jul. 26 2018

Tennessee appeals court judges have vacated a six-month suspension handed to a regional bail bonding company after one of its...

Communications failure plagues county over cop computers

Published Jul. 25 2018

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and Chattanooga Police Department appear to have their wires crossed regarding in-car computer communications for...

Hands-on help for Chattanooga's job seekers

Published Jul. 23 2018

Shenika Lewis stood on the porch of her small green bungalow Monday afternoon, chatting with a man holding a clipboard...

Fireworks at election commission over 'frivolous' District 26 lawsuit

Published Jul. 23 2018

A Chattanooga attorney will represent the Hamilton County Election Commission in a lawsuit filed by Tennessee Democrats over the state...

New twist in District 26 lawsuit

Published Jul. 21 2018

The soap opera that is the House District 26 election ended its week in another cliffhanger Friday.