Sep 27 2007
05:39 pm

The defense rested today, without calling Lumpy to the stand, ending the "sworn" testimony part of the trial.

Now they will proceed with motions and closing arguments, which are expected Monday morning, with jury deliberations to begin as early as Monday afternoon. Should be interesting next week.

For more informed commentary from lawyers and others on the legal issues and strategies, see this thread. I think I have to agree with Mark Siegel that the defense gave up about half way through the trial, and they now await their fate.

Rachel's picture

Lumpy did testify, however.

Lumpy did testify, however. I assume the plaintifs called him on rebuttal or something. I just saw a clip on the news of him sparring with Moncier.

"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." - John Maynard Keynes

R. Neal's picture

I think that was earlier. My

I think that was earlier. My understanding is that defense never called him as part of their defense. At least according to the KNS. There's always the possibility that I have once again been misinformed by the KNS.

Rachel's picture

I think the KNS story was

I think the KNS story was confused. I don't know why the tee vee would have had video of Lumpy testifying from earlier in the trial.

But I may be confused my ownself. Haven't taken the time to check updates on the tee vee websites.

"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." - John Maynard Keynes

Rachel's picture

Update: Yup, the KNS called

Update: Yup, the KNS called Lumpy as a rebuttal witness.

Notice he contradicted Scott Moore's testimony about whether they discussed appts. He also admitted breaking the Sunshine Law.

"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." - John Maynard Keynes

Russ's picture


Lumpy did testify today, but he was called by the plaintiffs during their rebuttal. From the KNS article:

Attorneys for News Sentinel editor Jack McElroy and nine citizens who sued commission over how it made 12 appointments to term-limited offices on Jan. 31 summoned Commissioner Greg "Lumpy" Lambert.

Stackhouse had declined to call Lambert.

Lambert testified that it was his decision not to testify in his own defense. He distanced himself from earlier sworn testimony in which he freely admitted violating the act known commonly as the sunshine law.

After Lambert’s testimony today, the case was declared finished and jurors sent home.

The defense strategy in this case has been mighty peculiar; at times, it's seemed like defense witnesses were really star witnesses for the plaintiffs.

However, I'm not sure Stackhouse "gave up." It could be that she's trying merely to minimize the damage. She may argue tomorrow that the jury should be required to find a nexus between a particular back-room conversation and a particular appointment which resulted from it. If she were to win that argument, she might be prepared to throw Bolus and Jordan under the bus while hoping to preserve the rest of the appointees.

I don't know if that argument would fly with Fansler, but it's the only strategy I can think of that doesn't involve professional incompetence.

Of course, I'm no lawyer, so I could be completely wrong.


Rachel's picture

I think the strategy may

I think the strategy may have been to confine the damage to less than the full Commission. Fansler didn't leave the defense much, well, DEFENSE, when he threw out the quorum defense and told them they couldn't argue the law was unconstitutional (because several courts have already ruled that it is).

But it HAS been an odd trial. I think we should start a pool on how long the jury is out. I'll take 5 hours, only because they may try to sort out which individuals are guilty. Otherwise, I'd take 5 minutes.

"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." - John Maynard Keynes

R. Neal's picture

The individual sanction

The individual sanction gambit is bogus.

To paraphrase Al Pacino, he's out of order. That guy's out of order. They're all out of order. This whole $%^&* process is out of order.

I predict this will be decided very quickly (maybe not five minutes but probably a couple of hours), against the entire process as opposed to any individual commissioners, despite Owings' desire to hang it on a few individuals (i.e. Lumpy?).

Russ's picture

I agree that it's bogus, but

I agree that it's bogus, but I can't think of anything else that would make sense of the defense's case.

If we're starting a pool, I take 30 minutes.


Sarge's picture

After the jury finds the

After the jury finds the commissioners guilty,THEN WHAT?

Russ's picture

Then what?

After the jury finds the commissioners guilty,THEN WHAT?

That's up to Fansler. He could order a do-over of Black Wednesday, he could issue an injunction against County Commission not to break the Open Meetings law again, and he could hold them in contempt of court if they do. He has broad leeway, since the Open Meetings law says the judge has discretion to impose sanctions.

Beyond this case, though, the real "then what?" questions come up next year:

Will the voters of Knox County still be PO'ed enough when February's primary rolls around to kick the bums out of office?

Will they have the attention span necessary to remember all this when the county-wide election happens next August?

The primary should be interesting, but I'm not very optimistic about that last one.


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