Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

July 2, 2013

Souza asks attorney to step down

“Uh, no,” responded city attorney Ken Chadwell when asked by Councilman Pete Souza if he would consider withdrawing his service from the city.

This unexpected conversation came up under the discussion of Souza's agenda item discussing the hiring of a full time attorney for the city of Crossville during the special-called council meeting held July 25.

As the agenda item began, Souza requested that the police officer present for the meeting pass out envelopes to council members that had three pieces of paper inside, including a HUD 1 form dated Dec. 29, 2005, a copy of check from the city to Halstead Property Development in 2011 and a copy of corporation records from the state for Halstead Property Development that Souza seemed to think would lead to Chadwell's resignation and open the door to hiring a new attorney.

After additional questions from Souza and answers from Chadwell, the city attorney offered to explain the paperwork Souza had placed in front of the council and Souza agreed.

Chadwell said he and his partner, Joe Looney, formed the Halstead Property Development, LLC, in 2004 that was used to buy properties for private investment purposes. In 2005, the bank building came available and Chadwell and Looney thought about buying the building, signed a contract and continued researching the possibility of using it for their law offices and title company while renting out the rest of the building.

Chadwell said, “About part way through the due diligence, we decided we didn't really want to own the thing because it was going to cost too much to operate. But, we were obligated under a contract and we closed and bought this building. The building was owned by Halstead Property Development, LLC. There were two members of the LLC, me and my partner, Joe Looney, with 50 percent each.”

Chadwell told the council that around that same time, Johnny Reeves, local realtor, and attorney Jim Thompson approached them about buying the bank building.

“They really wanted it and had been in the hunt for the building the same time we were. We agreed to sell it to them,” explained Chadwell.

Chadwell summed up his explanation, “In Dec. 29, 2005, we sold the LLC to Jim Thompson and Johnny Reeves. Since that time, I've had no ownership interest in Halstead Property Development, period. And further, just so you'll know, when the city first started looking at buying this building, everybody and their dog, so to speak, knew that Joe and I had owned it at one time and they were curious about what we knew about it, what did we think about it and what we learned about it. I went and copied all (the information) we had and gave it to the city manager.”

Souza then moved forward with his discussion on a full time attorney. Estimates of the cost for a full-time attorney is $200,000, according to city staff estimates. Souza reported that in past years, the cost for a part-time city attorney has run from $124,000 to $160,000 for legal fees.

Souza stated, “I have contended that the city would be better off with a full-time attorney that could work on additional duties. That's my argument for a full time attorney.”

And with that, Souza moved to hire a full-time attorney and the motion was seconded by Councilman Jesse Kerley.

Councilman Danny Wyatt said that his only problem with the city attorney had to do with billing and the bills now are much more detailed, “and you can tell where everything went.”

Wyatt said while there have been some high years, the rest of the time the city attorney fees average around $100,000 per year. Wyatt concluded, “I'm going to support staying with Mr. Chadwell.”

Kerley said if the vote fails that he would like to have the city attorney investigate the cost of attorney fees of other cities the size of Crossville and see what they pay in attorney costs.

Kerley continued, “I think we're being taken advantage of. That's my personal opinion and something needs to change.”

Councilman George Marlow said he felt Chadwell was doing a very good job for the city and expressed concern about being in the middle of several lawsuits as the wrong time to bring in someone new.

A vote was taken on Souza's motion to hire a full-time attorney. It failed by a 2 to 3 vote with Souza and Kerley voting in favor and Wyatt, Marlow and Graham voting no.

Text Only
Area News
  • 1899: Evidence points to poison in mysterious deaths

    The Nashville American reported that in January 1899, Squire Luke Stansbury, son of Rev. John Stansbury, discovered that Paris green and arsenic had been sprinkled over the hay they were feeding the cow. The evident intention was to poison the milk and, thus, poison the family. The hay was burned.

    July 22, 2014

  • Drug testing policy deferred until October

    With the start of the next school year only weeks away, the policy committee of the Cumberland County Board of Education decided to defer action on the extracurricular drug testing policy as implementation of changes would not occur before the 2015-’16 school year.

    July 21, 2014

  • camp nakanawa2.jpg Model recalls special rail service to Camp Nakanawa

    Camp Nakanawa, in the Mayland community of Cumberland County, dedicated a new, highly detailed diorama of the camp built over the past year by members of the Crossville Model Railroad Club.
    The large display is a very accurate scale model of the camp and includes a track where an HO model of the Tennessee Central Railroad delivers campers to their summer home.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Souza vows to bring public comments back for vote

    While a few public comments have been made during the last several Crossville city council meetings, the fact that some think their free speech is threatened by recent council actions has lead to discussions and letters to the editor in protest.

    July 21, 2014

  • Panel considers building code options

    The Cumberland County Environmental Committee met last Thursday evening to further discuss the status of countywide building permits and its agreement with the city of Crossville, but no action was taken.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fields a possible buyer for TSUD

    Barry Field, owner of Field’s Engineering Consultant Services, LLC (FECS) has taken an interest in purchasing the highly contested waste water facility in Lake Tansi.

    July 21, 2014

  • gov. haslam.jpg Haslam to speak at Chamber membership meeting

    Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce annual membership meeting will be held Aug. 8, 2014 at the Cumberland County Community Complex. The meeting will include awards, presentations and recognitions, with scheduled speaker, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. The Chamber would like to recognize and thank Cumberland County Bank for its platinum sponsorship of this year’s annual meeting.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Driver charged after woman injured in crash

    A motorist who witnesses said plowed into a car without touching his brakes is now facing numerous charges, including endangerment of a pregnant woman who was injured in the second vehicle.

    July 21, 2014

  • City to enter wastewater negotiations with Veolia

    With a majority of Crossville City Council members in favor of retaining Veolia as the contract operator of the city’s wastewater treatment plant, a motion to authorize City Manager David Rutherford to negotiate with the company was approved in the July council meeting in a mixed vote.

    July 21, 2014

  • VEC phone scam warned

    Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department is warning citizens of persons makeing phone calls, claiming to represent Volunteer Energy Co-op, claiming an electric bil is past due.

    July 18, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014