published Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Hamilton County Commission votes to retain Magistrate Larry Ables

Larry Ables, Hamilton County's chief magistrate.
Larry Ables, Hamilton County's chief magistrate.
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Letter regarding staffing issues at Hamilton County Jail
Letter regarding staffing issues at Hamilton County Jail
Do you agree with the commissioners' decision to keep Chief Magistrate Larry Ables in his current post?

Hamilton County Commissioners voted 5-4 this morning to keep Chief Magistrate Larry Ables in his current post after deadlocking last week.

Ables, who is currently in his third term as chief, came under fire in August after writing a letter to Sheriff Jim Hammond questioning jail staffing. Then, in an August county commission meeting, commissioners Joe Graham and Greg Beck questioned the way Ables presented his concerns.

Commissioners deadlocked 4-4 last week.

Commissioner Tim Boyd was absent at the time. He returned today and cast the deciding vote for Ables, who is commission Chairman Larry Henry’s nephew.

Henry disclosed his relationship today before voting for Ables.

“I knew this body was aware of it,” Henry said.

Attorney Rheubin Taylor reiterated that Henry’s vote for Ables did not violate the county’s ethics policy.

Commissioners Beck, Boyd, Henry, Warren Mackey and Chester Bankston voted for Ables. Commissioners Jim Fields, Graham, Mitch McClure and Fred Skillern voted for Randall Russell for chief.

Read more in tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

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about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

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