Mar 10 2008
07:59 am
By: WhitesCreek

Well I'm glad to see Roane County has maintained its high standards of behavior while I was away in the frozen North.

I want to learn more about the Judges "flippant" ruling (stole that one from friend). It could have serious ramifications on Free Speech in Roane County. In asking for a restraining order against ex-Constable Mark Patton, Attorney McFarland seemed to be saying that not only did Patton give the finger to the Sheriff's Deputy,...

He also made a mean face!

I'm glad the ruling went as it did, otherwise we could have seen Sheriff's Deputies arresting Roane County's entire third grade class.

We citizens pay certain people to carry guns and keep order in this County. Is acting like adults too much to ask of them?

No, it's not, WC

Not too much to ask of them, that is.

"We citizens pay certain people to carry guns and keep order in this County. Is acting like adults too much to ask of them?"

Bear in mind, also, however, that it is not those who are carrying guns and keeping order while being paid to do so that filed this lawsuit. It was your and my friend, Tom. Of course, part of the issue is the fact that ONE of those whose job WOULD BE to keep order and carry a gun (namely the former constable who is seeking to be constable again) is responsible for the lion's share of the childish misbehavior that the good Chancellor, Trip Williams, ruled wisely on. Had HE been exhibiting mature, adult, and orderly behavior, it is not very likely that this issue would have been in the court in the first place.

I agree with what the Chancellor said about the free speech aspect of it, and with the contention that the cops should be able to deal with being shown an occasional middle finger. Of course, legally, context means a lot, and free speech is not always free. But that's another discourse. However, one circumstance that would tend to make the raised digit less easy to deal with is that it is coming from one who claims to be another enforcer of the law, or at least one who wants to be. Other cops see that as behavior that "one of them" should not be exhibiting. Free speech or no, I agree with that distaste.

I have often heard and read - actually sometimes on this forum, if memory serves me correctly - that law enforcement officers can be held to a higher standard of behavior. If that is the case, then that sword needs to cut both ways and apply to the wannabe constable - if he really is law enforcement material - as well as those who are already among those ranks.

I also think the learned Chancellor did exercise good judgment in affirming an injunction against inappropriate behavior toward those involved in the lawsuit, as that is a different issue from that of the middle-finger-salute proffered toward law enforcement officers. I know of a number of credible reports of very bad public behavior on the part of the former constable toward County Commissioners in public, including at least one confrontation in an eating establishment that was in the presence of a Commissioner's spouse and grandchildren. THAT kind of behavior SHOULD be enjoined against, and indeed was enjoined against according to the RCN.

Had I been preparing the lawsuit, I don't believe I would have included stuff about giving cops the "bird." I think Tom's case would have been much more credible had he sought and used specific information about behavior toward the cops that would have been on a par with the misbehavior exhibited toward some of the defendants in the lawsuit. Had he been able to do that, I think all of his injunction could have been upheld, rather than having to undergo an embarrassing situation of hearing the Chancellor throw some of it out. Mayhap he learned from the situation. We hope.

I DO, however, hope that we don't have an entire third grade class that's been taught it's OK to give law enforcement officers that particular salute.


I read the Judge as having

I read the Judge as having stated that it is a Constitutionally protected right to publicly demonstrate that you are unfit to hold a position in the public trust.

Did anyone else note the irony of both attorneys, plaintiff and defendant, having harrassment lawsuits currently pending against them?

Does this County know how to put its best foot forward or what?

You got a point there, WC!

"I read the Judge as having stated that it is a Constitutionally protected right to publicly demonstrate that you are unfit to hold a position in the public trust."

I had to read it a second time to see what you were saying (see - I do try to take your advice! LOL). But in a roundabout way... well, maybe not so roundabout... the Chancellor was saying exactly that. And, we hope, people who are unfit to be elected to positions of public trust WILL publicly demonstrate that fact. Unfortunately, sometimes, as in this case (IMHO), the electorate screws up and elects an unfit one anyway. That creates a dilemma.

I bet our friend and RoaneViews habitue' Mark Foster would verify for us that in many cases, the law is often demonstrating irony. Or perhaps the APPLICATION of the law often demonstrates irony! In any case, it's there in spades.

Your last question is very interesting. Indeed, ultimately, this county does know how to put its best foot forward, in that we are watching the situation and the society as it is put through the process of living out the rule of law. That is a positive vision.


Has it been dismissed? I

Has it been dismissed? I thought just the Suit against the County had been dismissed.

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