Lineweaver asks for car, added staff

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 12:59am

Embattled Juvenile Court Clerk Vic Lineweaver was asked to discuss his department’s budget with Mayor Karl Dean Tuesday, presumably with suggested cuts the mayor has asked each Metro department to submit — instead, he asked for a car.

And two additional staff members.

“Making targeted cuts in this and next year’s budget is not feasible at this time,” Lineweaver told the mayor, reading from a prepared statement during one of the first budget hearings of this year.

“That is not something that makes sense to do at this time,” he said. “We will work, as always, to cut costs wherever possible.”

In fact, Lineweaver did not discuss any reductions, rather opting to talk about his need for more staff, funding and a car to “improve the ability of all areas of the Juvenile Justice system to become more effective.”

The Juvenile Court Clerk has been no stranger to criticism since winning re-election in 2006.

Since then, he has been audited, arrested on contempt of court charges for failing to produce documents and recently was filmed by a local news station in his bathrobe outside his home when he should have been at work.

In October 2007 he was still facing criticisms from one juvenile court referee for presenting case orders to her office for approval some six months to a year after the original information had been filed. Those files pertain to either orders of protection – a court order that could potentially stop abuse, for example, or orders of support – a court order for child support.

Yesterday, Lineweaver only briefly alluded to media reports about him, but did not present Dean any suggested budget cuts.

The mayor has asked that each Metro department make proposed budget cuts totaling 5- 10- and 15-percent, but that doesn’t mean each department will be facing those cuts.

However, while certain departments like Metro Nashville Public Schools and the Metro Police Department are likely to have their budget demands met, others stand to be cut in this year’s budget process.

The Juvenile Court Clerk’s department had a total expenditure of $1.8 million for the 2007-08 year, according to city budget documents.

The car Lineweaver said he requested several years ago would be used, according to him, to conduct community dockets at local schools, or official proceedings performed in the schools. Those are conducted mainly for truancy cases and only about once a week during the school year, which is about nine months, according to Lineweaver.

Although Dean made no decision regarding budget requests during the hearing, he did suggest that Lineweaver think about reimbursing his employees for mileage, rather than asking for an entire automobile.

“Can you reimburse employees if you only need it occasionally, instead of having a whole car?” Dean asked. “It would make it cheaper than getting a car,” he said.

Lineweaver said he never thought about reimbursing employees for using “their own cars.”

He is requesting additional funding this year to pay for a new bar-code system that he says would allow his officers to better track court records. The system would require that each file be scanned by each department when in use, and then it could be tracked through a computer system, according to Lineweaver.

Lineweaver said in the meeting Tuesday that despite all the criticism, his office was improving.

“Despite some recent misleading reports in the media, we are very proud of the improvement we’ve made in our office,” he said.

Dean would not discuss the Juvenile Court Clerk’s performance following the budget meeting, opting instead to focus on other Metro departmental hearings.

Filed under: City News
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By: HokeyPokey on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 7:00

How much longer do we have to tolerate this worthless human being?

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

You have to admire his brass.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Vic Lineweaver personifies the word "crony". He has lived off the government dime through several administrations. He figures that he will outlast Karl Dean, too.The voters should replace his soft ass w/ someone who will do a good job.The problem w/ your quote, Hokey, is that Becket was troublesome, because he held high ethics. Hardly the same here.

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Dean looks appropriately skeptical in the photo. Lineweaver = Bill Boner mindset in the Karl Dean era.

By: BigPapa on 12/31/69 at 7:00

That's classic- being told you have to cut and then ask for a car, then when you dont get the car, you tell everyone that they "cut the car from the budget."Vic is either thick as a brick, or got a pair of brass b alls.

By: EasyWriter on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Vic is so clueless.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Those options aren't mutually exclusive, BigPap.

By: girliegirl on 12/31/69 at 7:00

What was amazing to watch last night (yes, I watched it on channel 3) was that Vic never winced or flinched or anything. He was straight faced and, if nothing else, emboldened by Dean's lack of ferocity. If one of us had been Dean, we'd have ripped Vic a new "you know what" on camera! I don't think is was "brass balls" that Vic demonstrated last night. I think it was apathy. Our juvenile crime rate is way too high, if not out of control now, and Vic is the one who is to blame for not being more aggressive. Dean should've danced on Vic's head~

By: theplantsman on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Folks, just make sure that you, Karl Dean and the Council are not being manipulated by ‘Good Ole Boy’ Vic. Being an old political gadfly that he is, Vic knows that by asking for more than he needs, in fact, asking for something as preposterous as a car AND two additional staffers, he knows that in lieu of the car and additional staffers he is in much better position to get what he really wants. Which is NOT to make any cuts.

By: girliegirl on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Hey Plant, if I weren't married, I'd be your next stalker.... Seriously, isn't there SOMETHING we can do about all this juv crime run rampant. The Antioch kids that were just busted is indicative of the direness of the situation.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Dean is smarter than Lineweaver, so I suspect that this strategy won't work w/ Dean, but I agree w/ you, Plants.

By: global_citizen on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I think Karl Dean is pretty no-nonsense. He'll sit there and listen (skeptically) to Vic's pleas, then go and cut his budget if it needs to be cut.

By: theplantsman on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I think Pogo said it best; “I have seen the enemy and he is us.” Folks, we all mean well. We “intend” to do the “right thing”, but we do not act; we react, and even then, we piss and moan as to any suggested course of action. Therefore, we sit and bitch; mired in inaction. Stuck, hand and foot to our personal tar baby’s.Nor do I blame the children. Instead, I blame us. From the Presidents to prostitutes, we have managed to turn the ‘Greatest Nation’ into the laughingstock of the universe within twenty years. Take no comfort in your political party affiliation or philosophy. This is not a partisan issue, rather it is bi-partisan, and few are not guilty of corruption and/or gluttony.

By: nashpar on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Vic, your time is up! Calling all voters, get him out of here! With the issues going on with our city's youth, the last thing we need is a clueless, no brain, political gadfly as plant stated running a major department that handles youth issues.

By: sarabellum on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Why do you complain? After all, you not only elected him, you re-elected him.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Yup we get what we deserve/vote for.

By: nashpar on 12/31/69 at 7:00

But the good thing is that we can vote him out. Yes we may vote someone in, but it's clear it's time to take action and vote him out. I still call all voters into action.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 7:00

From presidents to prostitutes isn't that far a stretch, Plants.