published Friday, August 27th, 2010

Mill owner files warrants against Rossville chief

The owner of the Peerless Mill in Rossville is accusing the city police chief of helping former mill tenants break into the building and steal equipment.

But while Les Coffey, owner of the mill, has applied for warrants to arrest Police Chief Sid Adams and the former tenants, who are employees of Tek-Mak, he also is being accused of stealing from Tek-Mak.

Coffey said he believes Tek-Mak employees were breaking into the mill and stealing equipment under the police’s watch.

“They took what they wanted in broad daylight,” he said.

But Adams said police were called in April 2009 to help the workers haul equipment they owned from the building after Coffey parked a large machine in front of their door. Adams said he believes Coffey was trying to keep Tek-Mak employees out of the mill.

“(Coffey’s) claiming we used the machine to break down to the door,” Adams said. “That’s not the case.”

Once officers found a key to the door, they were able to help the Tek-Mak employees pick up their equipment, then everyone left, Adams said.

The warrants for Adams and three Tek-Mak employees were not filed until July 29, 2010. Coffey said he waited until he had video of the incident.

“We waited until we had enough evidence to get a warrant,” Coffey said.

But Adams said the video only shows officers helping the former employees recover their own equipment.

Coffey also is being investigated for charges of theft. A warrant application for Coffey’s arrest was filed Aug. 5 and claims he was sawing metal off equipment that belonged to Tek-Mak and selling it.

Coffey said the metal was his because the tenants were evicted from his property and owed him in back rent.

A warrant hearing has been set for Sept. 8 for a Walker County magistrate judge to hear Coffey’s and the Tek-Mak employees’ side of the argument.

A Superior Court judge must decide whether to hold a hearing or simply dismiss the warrant against Adams, who said he has received no official notification on a warrant hearing.

Coffey has filed similar warrants against him in the past and they were dismissed, Adams said.

The 27-acre Peerless Mill has been a point of contention between the city and Coffey since 2007.

Coffey hasn’t paid property tax since 2008 on the mill, valued by the city at almost $3 million, city officials say. But Coffey claims the city owes him money for sewage services he provides to Rossville.

When Coffey filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2010, he also sued the city of Rossville and several city employees, including Adams. The suit, which claims city officials tried to bankrupt his business, was transferred to U.S. District court in Rome, Ga.

Continue reading by following these links to related stories:

Article: Rossville mill's future in doubt

Article: Rossville targets deteriorating buildings

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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raybarker444 said...

This comment from a blog about this story.

"has the District Attorney looked at this. What is the ruling from that office?" It appears he has because the article say the following -

"In this case there is warrant application hearing scheduled for Coffey for felony theft by conversion"

The dispute arises from the tenant (Tek-Mak) reporting the landlord to the EPD over asbestos.

Check out this link.

It appears Tek Mak pissed their landlord off and here is what happened.

"Les Coffey, cut off his power after he contacted several environmental agencies about Coffey allegedly removing Asbestos and a number of other dangerous chemicals from the property."

"willfully disconnected the electrical power service to Rowan's business"

then the courts did this

"The Order of Contempt goes onto say that Coffey is held in criminal contempt for his constructive eviction of Rowan."

and then the Sheriff's department stepped in -

"It means that he will be arrested, we have an order signed by a superior court judge that authorizes the Sheriff or his lawful Deputies to arrest mr. Coffey," Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson says."

and the article goes on to say this

"And it turns out that this isn't Coffey's first run-in with the law. In Hamilton County alone Coffey has faced a number of charges including Aggravated Criminal Trespassing, Vandalism, Harrassment, Assault, and Passing Worthless Checks."

Read more: CatWalkChatt - Rossville mill owner seeking arrest warrant on police chief

August 27, 2010 at 5:37 a.m.
raybarker444 said...

This is hilarious

"The warrants for Adams and three Tek-Mak employees were not filed until July 29, 2010. Coffey said he waited until he had video of the incident."

Be mindful that the incident happened in April 2009. ...Wonder where he ordered the video? China?

Here is an interesting tidbid "Coffey has filed similar warrants against him in the past and they were dismissed, Adams said."

August 27, 2010 at 5:48 a.m.
lcoffey1 said...


As always you are trying to divert the attention from the facts. We had the video all along. The Times Free Press had the video all along. We simply were waiting for the evidence to lead us to probable cause as to a theft had actualy happened. What the paper did not write and I may have forgot to tell them was. We just in the last 30 days located some of the stolen items in a warehouse in Flintstone. David Rowan and John Roberts of Tek Mak occupy that building.

If you will notice we filled a warrant application for these peoples arrest on July 29, 2010. The city of Rossville then filled an application for my arrest on August 05, 2010. Ohhhhhh how convenient. I take my case to the courts and all of a sudden I am am the one stealing. Looks pretty suspicious to me.

Again the questions for Adams is as follows.

If Tek Mak had the right to be in the building. Then why did they need to find a key? Would they not have had a key? This is interesting as we have previously said the police obtained keys we provide the fire department to make entry into the building for previous thefts. Yes Sid is correct they found a key alright. A key at the fire station to open the gates at night when they were stealing at other times.

Also under what authority did they have to get on and use that piece of machinery? When did the police actually start helping people move their belongings? Also if Sid is correct and Tek Mak got their stuff and everyone went on their way. Then how could I now steal something from them? Adams did say they got their stuff in April of 2009. Why would it be that they waited until I filed warrants to accuse me of a crime?

So many questions for Sid Adams. So many questions for the city. The more Sid talks the more it is clear they did wrong. Sid and everyone else involved should be suspended and a formal investigation should follow.

August 27, 2010 at 7:57 a.m.
cosmicnights said...

Seems this Coffey character has too many criminal skeletons in his closet and trying to counter any currents crimes of his own by going after the police...thats' rich....gotta love those "attention seekin" individuals...

August 27, 2010 at 9:54 a.m.
xsiveporsche said...

My question would have to be, How does the police know the stuff they were helping to carry out belong to the employees. Stuff like this has always been a civil action before the police can help get things out.

August 27, 2010 at 10:11 a.m.
aryfrosty said...

What can this Coffey individual hope to accomplish by his eternal machinations and complaints? The comments he posted on here seem to do nothing to help his position and only serve to show another whiner who is trying to hustle the law to serve his strange ideas of justice. There's one like that around every corner and under every rock.

August 27, 2010 at 1:58 p.m.
lildog said...

I think the city is ful of it!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 19, 2011 at 7:50 p.m.
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