Appeals court upholds Lineweaver contempt charges

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 3:17am
Staff reports

The Tennessee Court of Appeals denied recently a request from embattled Juvenile Court Clerk Vic Lineweaver to have civil contempt of court charges overturned.

Justice Holly M. Kirby delivered the opinion, which affirms the trial court’s ruling that Lineweaver “willfully disobeyed the referee’s lawful order” by failing to produced court records for juvenile court referees.

The contempt charge stems from a well-documented public battle in 2007 between Lineweaver and Davidson County juvenile court referees.

Lineweaver, at a series of hearings held in August 2007, failed to produce requested records or provide credible testimony as to why the records were not provided. Referees wanted answers as to why files from the March and April dockets had not been provided five months later.

Lineweaver was arrested, handcuffed and taken to jail on contempt charges after he failed to produce the records deemed critical to the functioning of the juvenile court system.

Within a few hours of his arrest, the missing files were provided to juvenile court referees.

“The fact that the juvenile court referees found it necessary to order Lineweaver to produce files necessary for them to conduct the court’s important work is disturbing in and of itself. His willful disobedience of that order is deeply troubling,” Kirby wrote in the opinion.

Lineweaver, who is up for re-election in May, has been the target of several investigative reports. One, by WTVF-Channel 5 investigative reporter Phil Williams, showed the juvenile court clerk at home in his bathrobe during work hours.

He also came under scrutiny during Metro budget hearings, when he requested a car for his department but could offer no justification for his request.

To read more stories about Lineweaver, follow this link.

6 Comments on this post:

By: bfra on 2/2/10 at 4:12

He snowed enough voters to get elected twice, which is still hard to believe but he has run into some judges that see right thru his farce. Due to his past and present actions, his office should be audited before the election.

By: govskeptic on 2/2/10 at 9:38

We can thank the Metro Council for Mr. Lineweaver. They
were the provider of the original appointment of him from their
ranks to this office. The Appeals Court didn't have to accept
this case and the Tenn. Supreme Court certainly has no need
nor time to spend on this decision. Affirm and be done with it!

By: bfra on 2/2/10 at 10:50

He repaid his council cohorts by hiring their, just out of high school, kids and letting people with experience go. I had a friend that had worked there 8 yrs. but she didn't have any council buddies, so she was let go along with several other. Mainly this was in his first term and most of these had not drooled over him, like he expected.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/2/10 at 4:30

lineweaver is a douchebag, for sure. it is hard to believe he was elected not once but twice!

By: Anna3 on 2/2/10 at 8:52

Lineweaver is a poor excuse for a public servant...but he will probably prevail in the Democratic primary again. Our shot at him or the career political appointee (read daddy got me a job for life) David Smith (Son of a big Democratic political boss..whom is totally unqualified for the job) will probably be in the General Election. Its time for a against the Democratic machine.

By: nashpar on 2/3/10 at 12:15

Ms. Karen Johnson is a qualified choice. She has run a very organized campaign and I would not underestimate a qualified savvy person who knows how to get past the old machine to a surprise upset. Mr. Lineweaver can only win if people do not look at the quals of the candidates. His competition this time is very different than in the past. This news does not help him either. It's starting to get ingrained in our heads.