Haslam avoids Occupy deposition, but AG contradicts Gov.'s public statement

Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 10:05pm

Gov. Bill Haslam won’t have to face a court deposition as part of a lawsuit filed by Occupy Nashville following a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Joe B. Brown on Thursday afternoon.

But amid the state’s defense against Haslam being deposed, Assistant Attorney General Dawn Jordan told Brown that Haslam had provided incorrect information to the media about the Office of the Attorney General’s involvement prior to the Occupy arrests.

“We had conversations last week that involved General Services, Safety and the Attorney General’s Office was part of the conversations,” Haslam told media on Nov. 4, 2011. “... all those folks were part of the conversations.”

Jordan said that quote was not true — and used the mishap to illustrate how Haslam didn’t have “unique personal knowledge” of the conversations surrounding the implementation of a policy that resulted in the arrests at Legislative Plaza.

When asked for comment, the Governor’s Office told The City Paper it would be inappropriate to comment on Haslam’s interaction with the Attorney General’s Office due to the active lawsuit.

Brown suggested that the Occupy Nashville attorneys didn’t exhaust other methods of legal discovery before requesting to depose the governor. Occupy Nashville will have the opportunity to pose the governor questions through filing interrogatories and requests for admission. Brown said if the answers aren’t satisfactory, Occupy Nashville could request to depose Haslam again.

And while Haslam avoided having to be deposed, Department of Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Department of General Services Commissioner Steven Cates will each have to undergo four hours of deposition.

Originally, Jordan requested that the two commissioners be deposed for only 45 minutes.

“An attorney takes 45 minutes to say hello,” Brown quipped, before extending the time to four hours.

Occupy Nashville originally filed the lawsuit on Oct. 30 in response to new rules about the use of Legislative Plaza by the protesters. The suit included a temporary injunction that Judge Aleta Trauger signed that prevented the state from enforcing the rules.

A trial date is set for Aug. 6.

20 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 2/8/13 at 7:03

The governor panicked when the Occupy Nashville protesters exercised their constitutional rights...he hastily sent in the cavalry.....it was massive overkill....Haslam is a cowardly figure...he freaked out.

There were more underover cops at the demonstration than demonstrators.....when it comes to cracking down on the "dirty hippies", the "cash-strapped" TN government has unlimited funds and resources. Now, legal costs are sucking cash out of the state treasury, to cover Haslam's sorry @ss.

Haslam is an inept, if not corrupt politician....throw the bum out.

By: Loner on 2/8/13 at 7:11

s/h/b "undercover cops", not "underover cops"...my bad...it's too early to be accurate?

By: treehugger7 on 2/8/13 at 7:26

Loner, the sad thing is that Haslam is the best of the repubs we've got. If Ron Ramsey were the gov, we'd be in a much worse situation! Until the masses wake up to what the repubs are doing, we are screwed!

By: Jughead on 2/8/13 at 8:32

Occupytards need to get a job, a life, and take a damn bath. Annoying maggots.

By: Bellecat on 2/8/13 at 9:21

I never understood why average people would elect a billionaire to be their governor anyway. A person cannot govern something he does not even understand.

By: rawhide on 2/8/13 at 9:37

Why is this "news"? Why has this suit not been thrown out of court or dismissed? "Panicked"? How about, "he did what the (other) 99% wanted and what the law required"? And what is it that a "billionaire" does "not even understand"?

By: jsabrown on 2/8/13 at 10:00

Rawhide, the suit wasn't thrown out because we don't subject civil rights to a vote. Whether Mr. Haslam did what the law required is the very question at hand for the court to decide.

What this rich man does not understand is that the right of public free speech is of our dearest Constitutional rights, and the Occupy protesters were doing nothing other than exercising those rights. The governor has an obligation to protect our right to public speech, even if he doesn't agree with what we're saying, even if it causes him embarrassment.

What is it about civics you don't understand?

By: Jughead on 2/8/13 at 10:27

I don't like any Occupytard who poops and urinates in public. Plus, they are just maggots and leaches who contribute NOTHING.

Obama ignores the Constitution and these morons are fine with it. Then, they scream 1st Amendment when they do not have a CLUE about Constitutional law.


By: Moonglow1 on 2/8/13 at 11:11

Moonglow1: Jughead, get real. Get a job, well good luck!!
Good for Occupy: I hope you win. It would be a win for all Americans who wish to exercise the right to public protest and assembly. These Teas do not understand freedom nor do they understand the Constitution of the United States of America.

And, why on each are we taxpayers paying for HCA, a billion dollar company to locate on West End. HCA can pay their own way...oh right it's about jobs. Well then, since they are a for-profit company making billions, then they should pay their own way and not expect taxpayer dollars to fund them. If they do accept taxpayer dollars, then we taxpayers should obtain a stake in their stock. After all, that is the way free enterprise works (investment and stock portfolio's), or does it?

By: Moonglow1 on 2/8/13 at 11:12

Moonglow1: above should read: why on earth versus why on each...

By: Jughead on 2/8/13 at 11:26

Smelly, lazy, unemployed, entitled maggots=OCCUPYTARDS.

By: rawhide on 2/8/13 at 11:47

There is a a Constitutional right to camp out or squat (pun sort of intended) on public property?

And, jsabrown, being rich causes a person not to be able to understand the Constitution? Sorry, I'm interested to hear from bellecat what a wealthy person "can't understand" to the degree that s/he can't serve in public office.

By: Moonglow1 on 2/8/13 at 12:06

Moonglow1: rawhide, it may not be a matter "of not understanding" but a matter of what one can get by with under the law of course!

By: pswindle on 2/8/13 at 4:08

Do you remember when Gov. Bredesen let Tenn-Care individuals sit in the Capitol? There was not a problem and everything worked out as it should. Haslem is a wimp, all he does is sit behind Ron and Beth. Every bill that he has signed, he pretend that he does not think that he will sign it, but he always signs the bills, and it doesn't matter if it takes our rights away or not. I can't believe that TN has fallen so deep in the GOP's lies.

By: Loner on 2/9/13 at 6:55

This "Jughead" character has an appropriate username; he's got crockery for a cranium...an empty jug, for sure.

All that the Jug can bring to any discussion is the same tired, worn-out name-calling that he always brings to any online board. Check the archives.

"Urinating and pooping".... "smelly, lazy, entitled maggots"..."Leaches (sic)"..."Morons"....Jug's gotta be a born-again Southern Christian...he hit all the key points of their "argument".

If it were not for mindless name-calling, Jughead would have absolutely nothing to post....his brain seems to be wired for reiterating uncreative insults....and nothing else.

Jughead is a poster-boy for the Republican Party's Southern base....vicious, vapid, vacuous and violent.

By: Ramazotti on 2/9/13 at 9:37

It amazes me that people think some millionaire is going to have their interest in mind. The protest that Occupy represents helps us all.

By: yogiman on 2/9/13 at 4:58


Our governor may not be the best man for the job, but I'll sure as hell take him over yours.

By: yogiman on 2/9/13 at 5:06

Since we have the right to free speech, and we have the right to public protest. So how about we all get together and protest to Master Usurper Obama to get our of 'our' office; it isn't his even though he feels and acts like it is.

By: Ask01 on 2/10/13 at 4:30

Loner, your 6:55 post on 2/9/13 was square on target.

He obediently swallows, then mindlessly regurgitates the conservative nonsense that everyone on government assistance doesn't want to work and would rather sponge off the taxpayer.

His vocabulary is limited and juvenile, much like his mental capacity.

Were this simpleton ever to find himself unemployed, he would likely make a bee line for the nearest unemployment office to apply for government assistance. Right beside the people he was so busily insulting.

Of course, the experience might be enlightening for him as he discovers his fellow simpletons turning on him, labeling him a loser, and societal drain. Additionaly, he could get to know the unemployed better while sitting on a park bench with them in between interviews and dropping off resumes.

Having been unemployed for three years, I usually don't wish similar misfortune on anyone, but there are those who would benefit from such adversity, and some who, as a result of their attitudes, deserve the experience.

Some, such as the dullard we are discussing fall under both categories.

By: Jughead on 2/11/13 at 11:02

I am sick of lazy, dirty bums who insincerely claim 1st Amendment sanctity when the real motive is avoiding gainful employment.

Awful of me to ask the Occupytards to get a job and carry their own weight.