Arp Strikes Again

The story below is quite unremarkable except for the fact that Arp is once again trying to protect TRDA, Tellico Reservoir Development Agency, rather than the residents of Loudon County.

Former Commissioner and now Loudon County Property Assessor, Chuck Jenkins, after sitting in on the hearing of the case of TRDA vs Loudon County, sent the judge a letter to explain his position as one of the commissioners who supported county wide building codes. Unbeknownst to Jenkins, you can't send a letter to the judge.

Arp had been splashing around that something "big" was going to happen at Monday's hearing even making sure the media was there. Unfortunately for Arp, nothing "big" happened. The judge just told Jenkins that people can't contact judges. It's somewhat curious that the News Sentinel did not bother to cover the TRDA vs Loudon County trial, but just happened to send a reporter to cover the post trial hearing.

What was all the fuss about? According to the judge, he only read the first paragraph of Jenkins letter. Below is what the judge read.

Honorable Judge Simmons:

On Monday, Nov. 3, I attended court proceedings in the case of TRDA v. Loudon County. The purpose of my letter is to bring to your attention certain aspects of this case that may not have been fully vetted.

Hard to see the crime here. None the less, no harm no foul. After the hearing, Arp approached Jenkins and accused him of nearly costing the county thousands of dollars at which point Jenkins responded that "he (Arp) should know a lot about that." At that point, Arp once again popped his cork and invited Jenkins to "take it outside." That was the point that Jenkins told Arp that he could contact his attorney.

You may recall, Jenkins was the one who exposed Arp's shenanigans when he was assessor.

How ironic that Arp would complain about anybody costing the county money when he has been responsible for throwing away hundreds of thousands of tax dollars. Arp has made no secret of his desire to protect TRDA and this was just another shot at the same target.

Another TRDA Controversy

Has He No Shame?
Arp Abstains,County Headed To Court, Again

Again we see the contrast between Jenkins and Arp. Jenkins is looking out for the citizens and Arp is looking out for his cronies.

Loudon property assessor rebuked by judge about suit letter

Official says he wasn't familiar with rules

By Robert Wilson

LOUDON - Calling it "an innocent misstep on my part," Loudon County's property assessor has accepted a judge's admonition that a letter he wrote to the judge about a pending lawsuit was improper.

"Being somewhat unfamiliar with the rules of the court," Chuck Jenkins said in a prepared statement, "I simply was not aware that it is impermissible to write to a judge with information that could be relevant to the case."

Judge Russell Simmons of Loudon County Circuit Court ordered Jenkins and attorneys for the county and the Tellico Reservoir Development Agency into court Monday afternoon to address the issue of the unsolicited letter from Jenkins.

TRDA sued Loudon County earlier this year to resolve a dispute over which entity can issue building permits and enforce development standards on property TRDA owns along the shoreline of Tellico Lake.

TRDA's claim to the property is based on a contract with TVA, which created the lake - and waterfront property - by building Tellico Dam.

Loudon County has sought through County Commission resolutions to assume responsibility for issuing building permits for TRDA land.

The lawsuit was tried in Simmons' courtroom earlier this month, and his ruling is pending.

It was in the intervening period that Jenkins wrote his letter.

The judge told those in the courtroom Monday that he opened a sealed envelope containing the letter, and when he read the first paragraph, which intimated the letter contained facts relevant to the case but not brought out in court, he stopped reading and had his assistant reseal the envelope.

At Monday's hearing, Simmons offered to recuse himself from the case, but attorneys from both sides discouraged him from doing so, praising his fairness and impartiality.

Simmons then agreed to proceed with issuing a ruling when completed and warned Jenkins that "there is no difference in talking to a judge and jury tampering.

"Don't ever try that again."

After the hearing was over, there was a heated verbal exchange in the courtroom between Jenkins and County Mayor Doyle Arp, with the mayor admonishing Jenkins that he "almost cost this county thousands of dollars" if the case had had to be retried.

Jenkins responded that if Arp needed to communicate with him, he could do so through Jenkins' attorney.