published Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

McGary, Crutchfield have ties

by Cliff Hightower

A Chattanooga city councilman who didn’t support an audit of a department head who ran a private business on city time has worked closely with her and received a campaign contribution from her father, a Times Free Press review shows.

Councilman Andraé McGary is chairman of the committee that drives policy for the Department of Education, Arts and Culture, which is run by Missy Crutchfield.

Crutchfield has acknowledged that she and department spokeswoman Melissa Turner used city time and resources to work on and promote their for-profit online publication, Be Magazine.


* March 2009: Andraé McGary receives a $300 donation from former state Sen. Ward Crutchfield, D-Chattanooga for his City Council election campaign.

* April 2009: During his runoff election, McGary receives another $200 donation from Ward Crutchfield.

* April 2009: McGary is elected to council and named chairman of the Education, Arts and Culture Committee.

* April- June 2009: McGary and Department of Education, Arts and Culture Administrator Missy Crutchfield serve on the Mark Making board together.

* January 2010: McGary enters into a consulting contract with Mark Making.

* September 2010: McGary asks that Missy Crutchfield speak in front of the council to address concerns about time worked while on the job.

McGary also served for three months with Crutchfield on the board of a nonprofit arts program and received donations from her father, former state Sen. Ward Crutchfield, during his election campaign, records show.

“It seems like there’s some ties that could make it hard to be strictly objective,” Councilman Jack Benson said Friday.

McGary did not respond to requests for comment.

As chairman of the council’s Education, Arts and Culture Committee, McGary helps oversee the city department Missy Crutchfield runs. He also served with Crutchfield on the board of Mark Making, a nonprofit devoted to spreading arts throughout town, where he also later took a job.

Frances McDonald of Mark Making said Friday that McGary and Missy Crutchfield both are interested in the arts and that they served on the board for only a short time.

“I would be surprised if they didn’t overlap,” she said. “Chattanooga is a small town.”

City Attorney Mike McMahan said Friday there is no city policy restricting council members from serving on boards with administrators.

Financial disclosure statements from 2009 show McGary received two donations from Ward Crutchfield, who in 2007 pleaded guilty to bribery charges as part of the FBI’s Tennessee Waltz sting. He received two years’ probation and six months’ home confinement.

Ward Crutchfield contributed $300 to McGary in March 2009 and $200 in April 2009, records show.

Council Chairman Manny Rico said Friday that the ties between McGary and Missy Crutchfield were why many council members wanted the Audit Committee to examine the Be Magazine issue.

McGary, though, called for a meeting of the Education, Arts and Culture Committee instead, saying he wanted to hear Missy Crutchfield’s explanations.

McGary was the only council member to speak against involving the Audit Committee at a meeting Tuesday.

“He’s got too many close ties to all the art things, and Ward,” Rico said.

Ward Crutchfield said Friday he did not care to talk about his relationship with McGary, but said a $500 donation to the councilman’s campaign sounded “about right.”

“I don’t know where my contributions go,” he said.

Missy Crutchfield said she was aware her father had an interest in McGary’s campaign.

“I knew my dad supported his campaign,” she said. “I didn’t know how much he gave.”

Missy Crutchfield said that by the time McGary took a job with Mark Making she already had resigned from the nonprofit’s board, so she didn’t vote on his hiring.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

I know that convicted felons are prohibited from voting, but are they also not prohibited from donating to a campaign while serving their sentence?

Ward Crutchfield was still on probation when this donation was made. He was sentenced on January 17, 2008 A judge sentenced the former Chattanooga lawmakers to 2 years of probation and 6 months of home confinement

So, if there is any law restricting political donations from convicted felons on probation would he have not violated the terms of his probation?

October 3, 2010 at 9:14 a.m.
harrystatel said...

Go to McGary's financial disclosure statement.

One name on the itemized statement of expenditures stands out as she is listed several times. See how much she received for "campaign assistance".

Read McGary's sworn statement. Read all such statements from all candidates.Then read between the lines and ask questions.

Decide if it's facts or fairy tales.

Harry Statel

October 3, 2010 at 9:50 a.m.
Amos_Ives_Root said...

Wow. McGary and Crutchfield both work for the city. 500$! What a conflict of interest!

Look at all those great city council quotes on McGary! They weren't motivated to make those for anything else that could have happened this year?

Keep up this kind of reporting through the end of the year and you just may win a Pulitzer.

October 3, 2010 at 10 a.m.
BernieMacIsBack said...


I tell ya, they are all in cahoots!

Now you know I have to keep it PG-rated in here, but I'm gonna keep it real to, and I know some foul, corrupt, bull when I see it.

Y'all need to get a big shovel and clean that nasty stuff out of your city's government.

October 3, 2010 at 10 a.m.
chattbiz said...

Yea, they are in bed together over $500 bucks. Put some real money up there and maybe something is going on, but that kind of money is nothing.

What is Chattanooga Times Free Press trying to do? Create stories or is someone paying them to throw mud?

October 3, 2010 at 10:10 a.m.
harrystatel said...

What? Ward Crutchfield only took a $3,000.00 bribe? Is that all? Why arrest him when there's so many other people taking more?

Most criminals don't begin with a robbery of a Brink's armored car. Most crooked politicians don't start at the White House either.

If someone lies over $500.00 what would they lie about for thousands?

That's why you determine someone's character in small things as it gives you a baseline to see their character in big things.

Harry Statel

October 3, 2010 at 10:55 a.m.
acerigger said...

"If someone lies over $500.00 what would they lie about for thousands?

That's why you determine someone's character in small things as it gives you a baseline to see their character in big things."

Harry Statel>>>>>>>>>>>>>; Who lied?where?when?I must have missed something.

October 3, 2010 at 12:50 p.m.
harrystatel said...

"Who lied?where?when?I must have missed something."

Listen to the podcast of McGary's WGOW radio show for September 28. The first hour says it all. (I was listening to McGary's broadcast live.)

McGary stated at the beginning of his radio show that he had talked with Ward one time. Later he mentioned having talked with Ward five times. McGary even stated he called Ward to tell him about City Council business that might require Missy to be demoted in salary or relieved from duty.

McGary stated he received one check for $300.00.

Now McGary says it's two checks for $500.00

Not "The Tennessee Waltz", but certainly the "Chattanooga Cha-Cha."

Harry Statel

October 3, 2010 at 2:42 p.m.
Sorceress said...

Last month McGary was posting on Twitter, about his faith, and "the honor that is held within the heart all political offices".

Ever notice it's always the politicians who invoke God and honor that turn out to be the biggest hypocrites or most corrupt? God is stillness. 8:06 AM Sep 6th via web

Upon hearing the oaths taken today in Hamilton County, I am reminded of the honor that is held within the heart all political offices.
Wed Sep 1 07:31:27 2010 via UberTwitter

Oh yes, Andrae, politicians hold such great honor in their heart, just like those politicians of past the Pharisees / "doctors of the law", and Pontius Pilate, who displayed so much honor when they had Jesus nailed to the cross.

Luke 16:10 "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities.

Perhaps, McGary was absent on the day they covered those parts of the Bible when he was receiving his B.A. from Carver Bible College in Atlanta, and Master's in Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary.

October 3, 2010 at 2:51 p.m.
crimshaw said...

The Tennessee Waltz investigation was cut short due to Death Warrants being put on peoples lives. This is maybe why Mr. Ward's full involvement was not given the light it needed. Also if you listen to McGary poor mouth on the radio on how poor he is, having to care for a family of five on $21,000.00 then he is driving two brand new VW's. The word is also that McGary has made deals to retain votes in favor of support after he may have been elected as a Chattanooga City Mayor. Mcgary flip flop flips on the property tax increase, I just don't know. One thing is it's just hard to trust someone, I mean a male that has softer hands than most women and that can't look you in the eye for a firm hand shake. My Pa Pa always instilled in me not to trust that kinda guy. The worst is how the race card will be played towards his own people to secure votes. BUT you know, what else is new in Chattanooga? He should be a top candidate.

October 3, 2010 at 6:10 p.m.
skinemaxfan said...

For all of those questioning Missy's qualifications for a job with the most abstract of expectations ever set for a municipal position paying over $100K per year, Missy has a deep background in the Fine Arts as evidenced in her opus "New York Nights" (under the stage name "Missy O'Shea"). Some may view this performance as soft-core pornography, but I consider it one of the finest performances in all the genere. The scene where she dresses up as a man, goes to a gay bar and brings home a hunky guy just to have him shag her from behind (oops, as if shes a dude) just to make her husband randy/jealous, is a masterpiece of avant garde cinema. Who better to perform liaison duties to our children from the city in promotion of the arts? Porn is big business, and Chattanooga needs new industry. Why does it surprise any one that a Crutchfield has ongoing ties to the old Democratic machine? As a true fan of her films, I am confident that she has what it takes to bring the arts to our town, by any means necessary.

October 3, 2010 at 11:42 p.m.
bret said...

"a Times Free Press review..."

Wow, great investigative journalism, TFP, especially given the fact that Andrae only talked about it on his radio show for 3 days.

Can't wait for next week's breaking news that Chuck Fleischmann received donations from Lawyers!

October 4, 2010 at 8:25 a.m.
Sorceress said...

Did McGary mention any of this on his talk show?

As far as Ms. Crutchfield the more I learn of her the more it appears she has few redeeming character qualities.

I guess it should not be surprising, when one discovers that almost 30 years previous she thought taking her clothes off on film was the way to quick fame and fortune, that now, when she is less than a decade away from being a senior citizen, that she has no problem bending rules and laws to achieve her personal goals.

Truly sad, and not much of a role model for women, let alone children, which makes one wonder why she is in charge of anything related to education? If that kind of past had come to light regarding any teacher or administrator who was actually in the Hamilton county school system parents would be clamoring for their dismissal.

Perhaps, that's the reason she chose to create a career in education in a department of city government that is not truly tied to the public schools and thus would not incur the wrath of the parents of students.

October 4, 2010 at 9:54 a.m.
BernieMacIsBack said...

Hey, Y'all here's a thought.

Tuition, other fees and books per semester for in state students at Chattanooga State is around $2000 per semester, $4000 per year. (assuming a maximum load of 21 credit hours of classes per semester at around $1,500 plus additional fees, and books, to finish in exactly 2 years) So for roughly about $10,000 one can earn a degree at Chatt-State.

If the City really wanted to do something of substance for education, then for the $100,000 plus they pay Missy a year, they could easily put 10 students through college on a full scholarship.

For the $2,000,000 plus annual budget of the EAC they could put another 200 students through college on a full scholarship each year.

I means seriously if the city is going to spend over $2,000,000 of our money paid into taxes on a so called "education" department, wouldn't creating 210 more college graduates each year be of much greater benefit to the community than tossing up glorified lawn gnomes, letting a washed up, failed, B-movie actress perpetuate her delusions of grandeur with her film commission, put on fluffy little education plays where she gets to play director, and her "hobby" for profit, Oprah wanna-be magazine on the tax payers dime?

October 4, 2010 at 8:31 p.m.
please login to post a comment

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.