|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
What was all the fuss about? According to the judge,
he only read the first paragraph of Jenkins letter. Below is what the
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
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
Loudon property assessor rebuked by judge about suit
Official says he wasn't familiar with rules
By Robert Wilson knoxnews.com
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
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
"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.