published Monday, July 26th, 2010

Judge recuses herself from pet store case

by Monica Mercer

City Judge Sherry Paty has recused herself in the case against a local pet store, calling an e-mail she received from Mayor Ron Littlefield an attempt to sway her and an “an improper, unethical and perhaps contemptible disregard for the separation of powers.”

Judge Paty’s action this morning means the case, which began June 15 when the city raided The Pet Company at Hamilton Place Mall, might have to start “from ground zero,” a city attorney said.

Judge Paty already has presided over the case for more than two months and was expected to rule this week on whether The Pet Company had treated its animals cruelly and whether it owed the city more than $40,000 for the care of 84 animals as the case was being litigated in court.

Mayor Littlefield last week wrote an open letter to the media, calling justice in the matter “slow” and suggesting that The Pet Company needed to be put out of business for good.

Judge Paty already had ruled that she had no plans to revoke the store’s city permit and would defer to state officials as to whether it would keep it’s state-issued license to operate. That matter still is pending in the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

Tennessee’s Administrative Office of the Courts is expected to appoint a new judge on the case, Judge Paty said this morning.

See tomorrow’s Times Free Press for complete details.

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Tax_Payer said...

I think Mayor Littlefield should be charged with some kind of crime. Not sure which ones but, it seems illegal to me to tamper with the judge.

July 26, 2010 at 10:47 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Wow, we thought Obama was power hungry...Littlefield is getting out of is indeed sad that an anti-semite is in charge of the recall...

July 26, 2010 at 11:32 a.m.
Salsa said...

The pile of dung around this mayor just gets higher and higher.

July 26, 2010 at 11:52 a.m.
babygirl said...

We need to thank Jim Folkner for starting the Re-Call effort to help get Littlefield out of office. I support the Re-Call and if you want to get on board go to and print out a petition and sign it or go to Brainerd or Northgate early voting location. Thank you Jim for taking a stand.

July 26, 2010 at 12:02 p.m.
ordinaryguy said...

My mistake on the comment was speaking of the Delpinto character...hope the recall works...

July 26, 2010 at 12:04 p.m.
ndenni01 said...

I'm very proud of Judge Paty for her actions on this case. This is a very public case which invokes many passions. We cannot allow our emotions to get the better of us on this matter. We all want to see animals treated properly, however must follow the law in obtaining a resolution.

I still wonder though, why is this even a City matter? Should this be regulated by the state?

July 26, 2010 at 12:34 p.m.
harrystatel said...

Since "Ron the Con" has forced Judge Paty to recuse herself by his unethical and inappropriate behavior, perhaps Ron will reimburse the judicial system by paying for the costs of a new trial? That means using your personal money Ron, not the taxpayer's money.

Sure, that's going to happen the day Ron fires Missy Crutchfield as a political hack, Manny Rico's lips are surgically removed from his behind, and the City Council learns to read bills before they pass them.

Anyone holding their breath?

July 26, 2010 at 1:32 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

He is just a good old boy who has spent too long living off the public coffer. It was pretty obvious in his first year as he decimated the city planning department. He is quite a stepdown from the previous historical leadership.

July 26, 2010 at 2:16 p.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Ron will never cut Missy The Soft Core Porn Star loose...makes me wonder if we would be better off if the mountain were still in control....

July 26, 2010 at 2:24 p.m.
moonpie said...

Good for Paty. She did the right thing to recuse and to report him.

If this was his method of judge shopping (which I'm sure he'll deny) he should be held accountable. And ignorance is no excuse!

This was one of the most audacious (or bumbling) moves by the mayor that I have been privvy to.

July 26, 2010 at 4:40 p.m.

This is NOT bumbling. Littlefield is deliberate because he believes he is above the law. And why not? We have allowed him to skate by in all other previous indiscretions.

So Missy was a porn star?

July 26, 2010 at 6:10 p.m.
j2006n said...

Maybe Littlefield can take the money that's allocated to EPB's new parking garage to pay the bill.

July 26, 2010 at 11:14 p.m.
MasterChefLen said...

Here we go again, Mayor Ron Littlefield oversteping is legal and ethical authority. I'm surprised he hasn't crowned himself "Emperor For Life of Chattanooga", taking a queue from Napoleon. When is the mayor going to finally going to have is "Waterloo"?????

July 26, 2010 at 11:45 p.m.
emyoung87 said...

I need help from anyone who knows about this case. I would like to piggy back on lawsuits being filed by other people who've bought pets here. I bought a rabbit there in May. I wanted a boy rabbit because they cost about $200 less to get fixed than females. I took my "boy" rabbit that I bought at this store to get neutered, and the vet found out that it is a girl. This mistake on their part cost me $200. Also, the worker at the pet store told me the rabbit had been checked for ear mites and vaccinated for them. When I took my rabbit to the vet to get fixed, he/she had ear mites (the only way a rabbit can get ear mites is from another rabbit, and the only time he/she was near other rabbits was at the pet store). That cost me another $60. I know that $260 may not seem like much, but money is tight for me. If anyone knows anything about pressing charges against this company, please contact me at

July 30, 2010 at 4:49 p.m.
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