Tuesday, October 21, 2003

COUNCIL CANDIDATE CHUMNEY RESIGNS LEGISLATIVE SEAT

COUNCIL CANDIDATE CHUMNEY RESIGNS LEGISLATIVE SEAT

Posted By on Tue, Oct 21, 2003 at 4:00 AM

State representative Carol Chumney, matched against George Flinn in a November 13th runoff election for the District 5 city council seat, announced Monday that she is resigning her legislative seat immediately “in order that the people of District #89 will have the opportunity to choose my replacement.”

As Chumney noted, state law requires a special election to fill a legislative seat vacated more than a year prior to the next regularly scheduled statewide election. Vacancies created with less than a year to go before such an election would be filled locally by the Shelby County Commission. Had she waited until the conclusion of the runoff, the cutoff date would have passed. “The people of my district would rather choose their own representative than have the Board of Commissioners choose one for them,” Chumney said.

Chumney’s announcement follows a good deal of local discussion about the method of choosing her successor -- especially in the ranks of her fellow Democrats, where concern has been expressed that a Republican might be appointed by the commission, which is dominated 7-6 by the GOP.

Chumney conceded there was “risk” in offering her resignation now but added that she was confident of success in the runoff election if her supporters remained motivated to cast their votes in what is likely to be a low-turnout affair.

Primary contests for the special election would be held on December 14th or December 16th, Chumney said, citing advice given her by Bob Cooper, Governor Phil Bredesen’s legal adviser. Cooper informed her that the general election would follow on February 10th, Chumney said.

Among those known to be considering a race for the vacated seat are Democrat David Upton and Republican Jim Jamieson, the latter of whom is definite about his candidacy.. Others, including Chumney friend Mary Wilder, may also throw their hats into the ring.

A surprise entry is the likely one of Maura Black Sullivan, director of planning for the Shelby County school system. Sullivan, a longtime friend of veteran activist Upton’s, will be giving birth in mid-Decenber, at roughly the time of the special election.

Friday, October 17, 2003

LOGAN YOUNG GETS TARGET LETTER FROM U.S. ATTORNEY

LOGAN YOUNG GETS TARGET LETTER FROM U.S. ATTORNEY

Posted By on Fri, Oct 17, 2003 at 4:00 AM

University of Alabama football booster Logan Young now expects that federal prosecutors will ask a grand jury to indict him as early as this month. The United States Attorney’s office in Memphis has asked Young to appear before a federal grand jury investigating the case that has been in the news for almost three years. “My attorney got a letter last Friday asking me to talk to the grand jury, which I’m not going to do,” said Young, reached by the Flyer in Florida where he is on vacation. Asked why not, Young said, “Nobody does that. My lawyer says just don’t do it.” Young characterized the letter as a “target letter” which generally indicates that an indictment is going to be presented to the grand jury. Young’s attorneys, Louis Allen and John Pierotti, both declined to comment. U.S. Attorney Terrell Harris also declined comment. Young, a Memphis businessman and fanatical Alabama fan, has stated his innocence ever since he was publicly identified as the alleged source of a $150,000 payment to Lynn Lang, Means’ former football coach at Trezevant High School, to get Means to enroll at Alabama. The Flyerhas learned that the amount at issue is now around $50,000. Lang pleaded guilty to a racketeering charge last year and has been awaiting sentencing. The university formally disassociated itself from Young. In open court, Lang said Alabama assistant coaches Ronnie Cottrell and Ivy Williams were also involved. Young said he believes Williams will be subpoenaed to testify to the grand jury next week. Attorney Philip Shanks, who represents Williams and Cottrell in a suit filed last December against the NCAA and University of Alabama officials, declined to comment about subpoenas to either man. Despite Young’s denials and his behind-the-scenes role in the countersuit against the NCAA and Alabama officials, there has been an air of inevitability about his eventual indictment. Lang has changed his story a couple of times and the amount of the alleged payment has varied from $200,000 to $120,000 in newspaper reports, but Young has always been the money man in every scenario. With the events in question now three years old, the feds and lead prosecutor Fred Godwin either have to indict him or back down, leaving them with two small fry -- Lang and his former assistant coach and self-described whistleblower Milton Kirk -- but no big fish for their considerable trouble. Radio sports programs and Internet bulletin boards for Alabama and University of Tennessee fans have been buzzing with rumors and rants about possible indictments and scandalous revelations involving UT football. Tennessee and Alabama play in Tuscaloosa October 25th. Shanks, himself a diehard Alabama fan whose law office is well stocked with Crimson Tide football memorabilia, has accused UT booster Roy Adams and others of orchestrating a campaign to get Alabama in the media, on the Internet, and in the federal courts and NCAA office. “We have reached the limit of our tolerance,” Shanks said. “The hypocrisy of Roy Adams is more than we can stand now.” Adams countered, “I am a tolerant individual and have tolerated hypocritical people all my life. I am sorry he is not as tolerant and compassionate as I am.”
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