published Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Judge Jeff Hollingsworth denies motions in recall case of Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield


by Cliff Hightower
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  • photo
    In this file photo from Sept. 3, 2010, Judge Jeff Hollingsworth debates statutes with attorneys during a hearing on the petition to recall Mayor Littlefield.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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Should the recall effort for Mayor Littlefield proceed?

A judge struck down several motions Monday over the recall election of Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield.

Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hollingsworth denied a request to move the case from Circuit Court to Chancery Court.

"I think this is an appropriate place," he said.

The case is not an "election issue," he said, and such cases usually are bound over to Chancery Court after an election and not before.

After the Hamilton County Election Commission set an August date for the recall, Littlefield filed suit against the commission in an attempt to stop the election.

A request from commission attorney Chris Clem to dismiss the injunction entirely was denied after Hollingsworth said it was a moot point since a full hearing on the injunction is set for Feb. 10.

Hollingsworth also said he wanted to know whether the city should be involved in the case. He told Littlefield attorney Tom Greenholtz to prepare a brief by the end of the week to answer the question.

Since the City Charter is possibly being challenged, Chattanooga may want a say in the matter, the judge said.

City Attorney Mike McMahan said he planned to speak to the City Council today about the city intervening in the case.

"I'll notify the City Council and see what they want to do about it," he said.

Contact staff writer Cliff Hightower at chightower@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480. Follow him at twitter.com/cliffhightower or facebook.com/hightowerTFP.

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