A theft and official misconduct trial began this morning for former Chattanooga Neighborhood Services Director Kenardo Curry.
Curry faces 17 theft counts, one charge of fraudulent use of a credit card and one charge of official misconduct from a 2006 indictment, according to court records.
Prosecutor Bret Alexander told the jury this morning that they wouldn’t like a lot of what they were going to hear, especially from recordings by a city auditor and investigator.
He asked them to listen to all the evidence, which he said would show Curry, 47, abused his director position by using city money to pay for studies on a Dallas Street property he wanted to develop for personal profit.
But Curry’s attorney, Dan Ripper, said that the investigation grew out of bad blood between Mayor Ron Littlefield, who fired Curry shortly after taking the post in 2005 and then ordered an investigation.
Four other department employees either saw charges dismissed or received judicial diversion after pleading guilty to a single theft charge, according to Times Free Press archives.
He said he client was doing his job as director, which was to develop blighted properties and that Littlefield’s new hires targeted Curry, regardless of the evidence.
“There won’t be a question in your mind, not a one, that they were going to get Mr. Curry one way or another,” Ripper told the jury.
For more see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...