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.

1
Text Only
Area News
  • Panel waives ticket charge for boosters

    The building and grounds committee approved a request to waive a portion of the ticket fees for a school sports booster group planning a truck and tractor pull at the Cumberland County Community Complex, but the committee cautioned the group it would take action by the full Cumberland County Commission to relieve them of the obligation to return 10 percent of the gate charge to the county.

    April 23, 2014

  • Jury seated in Batty slaying case

    A jury plus alternates has been seated and began hearing evidence in the trial of John Russell Giles of Hampshire Lane, Fairfield Glade, charged in connection with the Nov. 7 death of Kimberly Ann Batty, 58, of Dovenshire Dr., also Fairfield Glade.

    April 23, 2014

  • New site sought for convenience center

    An expansion at Colinx and the improvement of a city street will require Cumberland County to move a convenience center. The city of Crossville has proposed a site in the same general area, but commissioners on the county's building and grounds committee were concerned about the cost to make the site suitable for a convenience center and the proximity of the Little Obed River.

    April 23, 2014

  • Hwy. 70 crash.jpg CCHS student dies in car crash

    Crossville Police have identified the victim of a two-vehicle collision that occurred Tuesday morning on Hwy. 70 W at the intersection of Dillon St. as a sophomore at Cumberland County High School.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_0783.JPG Visitors center now open to the public

    A ten-year effort to establish a gateway to the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, as well as to point tourists and visitors to the many other area parks, historical sites and points of interest, concluded Thursday as the community gathered with officials from the city of Crossville, Cumberland County, the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce and the National Park Service to dedicate the Crossville-Cumberland County: Gateway to the Big South Fork Visitors Center on River Otter Dr.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shots fired during standoff over domestic situation

    Chickens were killed, threats of bodily harm made and at least three shots fired in the presence of a Cumberland County sheriff's deputy during a domestic dispute between an uncle and nephew.

    April 22, 2014

  • Jury selection set in Batty slaying

    Jury selections were scheduled to begin today in the trial of John Russell Giles of Hampshire Lane, Fairfield Glade, charged in connection with the Nov. 7 death of Kimberly Ann Batty, 58, of Dovenshire Dr., also Fairfield Glade.

    April 22, 2014

  • Thoughts for this holy time of Easter

    The first performance of George Friderick Handel's masterpiece, "Messiah," was given in Dublin, Ireland, on April 13, 1742, where it was well received. When it was performed in England there were criticisms of the music, performers and location of the performance. It was held that the subject matter was too exalted to perform in an opera house, but rather it should be performed in church. Wouldn't it be interesting if we knew how many times this magnificent music has been performed in the past 272 years?

    April 22, 2014

  • Joe Goodwin.JPG Warden Joe Goodwin remains a true original

    The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, and Crossville's Joe Goodwin is part of that living history.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fleeing shoplifter causes $30,000 in damage

    A Morgan County man fleeing from the scene of a $4.99 shoplifting incident allegedly backed his vehicle into a light pole, destroying a solar power system and causing nearly $30,000 in damage.

    April 21, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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