Ellis Smith

phone: 423-757-6315

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter.

His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology.

Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia.

He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, Ga.; as a reporter.

Contact Ellis at 423-757-6315 or esmith@timesfreepress.com.

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EPB has asked the Hamilton County Circuit Court to dismiss a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by former city lighting contractor Don Lepard, who has claimed that Chattanooga taxpayers are owed more than $10 million in damages for as many as 20 years of overbilling by EPB.

EPB has filed a motion to dismiss the whistleblower lawsuit filed by former city lighting contractor Don Lepard, who made complaints on behalf of the cities of Chattanooga, East Ridge and Red Bank.

EPB officials confirmed on Tuesday that the utility has overbilled taxpayers for its streetlights' energy usage over a number of years, though they downplayed the extent of the overcharges ahead of a whistle blower lawsuit by a former city lighting contractor and settlement negotiations with the city.

EPB wants lawsuit on overbilling dismissed

Utility audit shows EPB owes city $17,000

EPB within a week will file a motion to dismiss the first of two whistleblower lawsuits filed against it by former city contractor Don Lepard, who made the complaints on behalf of the cities of Chattanooga, East Ridge and Red Bank.

Charter Communications is set to break up the monogamous relationship between cable cord and TV set, as the company introduces a new requirement that each of its customers obtain a set-top box in order to view even basic cable.

EPB faces a second whistleblower lawsuit unveiled within a month of the first, as the cities of East Ridge and Red Bank join Chattanooga in a legal action initiated by a former city contractor who says the utility knowingly overcharged taxpayers for electricity, then covered it up.

The $10 billion payday lending industry is under attack by a grass roots nonprofit group that seeks to counteract lenders' strong lobbying efforts as federal regulators consider new rules to rein in what some see as abuses among short-term lenders.

A second whistleblower lawsuit filed against EPB alleges that the utility overbilled the cities of East Ridge and Red Bank over 20 years by charging the cities for streetlights that didn’t exist or were misclassified.

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