The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee on February 13, 1985 · Page 15
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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee · Page 15

Nashville, Tennessee
Issue Date:
Wednesday, February 13, 1985
Page 15
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SECTION B Business3 Deaths6 Wednesday, February 13, 1985 ( r " r r'- t - " " - '--- i. - ..Jf-l - ... .-.-::v;-.:w:-.,.t-.- ?.-22.:,.; .... :-:-W(t . . ,Vs - fate Creation nsora joos Alleged Lockio :U- , . V ' ' 1 , """X - ! UV :- vXJ -Z"t'i i " . - - 'limine mmmnm m n seili L : -"",i,.,,n,j jWbim maJtm; to"" w.wSiit f 't I 1 Z?3 IT !? Staff photo by J. T. Phillips A "busy" day on Capitol Hill finds Warrick Robinson, a lobbyist for South Central Bell, seated alone in a committee room. Bill Would Let Ex-Officers Go Armed A bill to let retired law enforcement Officers go armed shot out of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday with no negative votes. "This is a request from the sheriff in my county," said sponsoring Sen. Lowell Thomas, D-Jackson, himself sheriff of Madison County from 1960 to 1966. The measure provides that any "retired law enforcement officer who is bonded" may carry a weapon for the purpose of going armed if the ; supervisor of the law enforcement orsanization for which he worked grants written authorization. Sen. Jim Kyle, D-Memphis, raised questions about the bill, particularly ' in regard to officers who retire be- cause of stress. But committee chair-; man John Rucker, D-Murfreesboro, argued that the provision in the bill for a written directive from the supervisor would keep retired officers who should not carry guns from being allowed to do so. , "Lowell Thomas is the only man in the country who could get me to vote for this bill," said Sen. Avon Williams, D-Nashville. Worth of Auto Safety Belts Convincingly Demonstrated DYERSBURG, Term. (AP) Rep. Don Dills, D-Dyersburg, said yesterday that he will take an especially close look at a mandatory seat belt bill now that he has had firsthand experience in how the belts work. "I'll look more favorably on it now," he said. Dill said he was involved in a car crash Monday while on the way to Nashville, but escaped serious injury because he was wearing his seat belt "If I hadn't been wearing it, I'd have been through the windshield," Dills said, adding that he has only worn the belt a few times. He said he put it on because the highway was covered with ice and snow. The bill passed 9-0, with Sen. Ward Crutchfield, D-Chattanooga, abstaining. It now goes to the Senate floor. In other action: The Senate State and Local Government Committee approved a bill that, as amended, would permit the Tennessee Correction Institute to give counties whose jails fail inspection a grace period of up to 60 days. The Senate Commerce Committee approved a measure that would repeal a 1949 law prohibiting public hospitals from offering discounts. The House General Welfare Committee approved legislation that would eliminate the requirement Tennessee has had since 1941 that couples undergo b!ood tests for syphilis in order to get a marriage license. The bill instead requires pregnant women to have the test any time before their first visit to a doctor and soon after the birth of the child. Tennessee is one of five states that currently do not require pregnant women to be tested for syphilis. A subcommittee of the House State and Local Government Committee delayed action for two weeks on a bill to prohibit drivers and passengers from having open alcoholic beverage containers in their cars. Rep. Matt Kisber, D-Jackson, said he had heard some senators were considering amendments to the legislation and that he wanted to see them before acting. Rep. WA Dub Nance, R-Memphis, the House sponsor, said he knew of one possible amendment to exempt limousine services but that the Senate sponsor, Curtis Person, R-Memphis, wanted the House to act first. Inmates7 Lawyers Hoping To Quiz Correction Officials By JIM O'HARA Inmates' lawyers are seeking to question state prison officials about their alleged failure to create jobs for inmates a failure that could put the state in contempt of federal court. Legal Services lawyers filed their motion to question state officials as state lawmakers and local prosecutors yesterday lambasted the Alexander administration for a "failure of leadership" in running the state's prisons. The inmates' lawyers stopped short of asking federal court to find state officials in contempt of court and asked instead to be allowed to "discover" what is happening in the prisons, particularly in the matter of giving inmate jobs. Responses from those officials, the laywers claim, "will establish a record of bad faith andor mismanagement" that could cause the federal court to impose new court orders. Conditions in Tennessee prisons were ruled unconstitutional in 1982 in a federal court case. Since then, the state and lawyers for the inmates under the monitoring of a special, court master for the prisons have entered into a number of court orders providing for the reduction of prison populations and the creation of jobs and educational slots for inmates. As an example of what may be happening with regard to jobs, the inmates' lawyers provided sworn affidavits from two inmates at the Tennessee State Penitentiary here who said they are locked in their cells 21 hours a day. These affidavits contradict state records which claim the inmates . were assigned jobs Dec. 17, 1984, when they were first transferred to the main prison. "That's certainly a direct conflict that needs to be resolved," said state Correction Commissioner Ernest Pel-legrin. "I'm going to presume my reports are accurate until shown otherwise." The inmates' attorneys call the department's records "fabricated claims" used to justify the transfer of the inmates to the main prison in violation of an earlier court order that all prisoners transferred there would have jobs ready for them. "In fact no jobs existed, and these inmates have been idle since their transfer," the inmates' lawyers state in their motion. In addition to that example, the Legal Service attorneys cite departmental records showing 4,209 inmates working July 19, 1984. According to departmental records of Jan. 25, 1984, there are now 4,047 inmates working. That decline, the lawyers argue, is further evidence that the state has not created jobs for inmates as it agreed to do in a court order last summer. "It is difficult to square these figures of compliance with the July 19 order, under the terms of which they would have been obligated to have created 500 new jobs or educational assignments during the intervening period," the lawyers' motion said. Pellegrin explained the discrepancy in job numbers as the result of the court order calling for a reduction of the state's prison population. The commissioner said the early release of inmates has meant letting inmates in work release centers out of prison. Their jobs have not been filled because there are not enough inmates who can be classified for those centers, Pellegrin said. "We can't take people in the main prison and put them in the work release center," he said. The commissioner said the department has created jobs and educational slots in facilities such as the main prison here and Fort Pillow State Prison. The number of those jobs created has not made up for the jobs lost at the work release center, Pellegrin said. (Turn to Page 6, Column 1) 2 Accusing Auditor of Bias Cited for Frequent Absences in Past By KEVIN ELLIS :Myra Patterson and Mary Earle, two employees who have accused Metro's chief auditor, J. Franklin Stone, of sexual discrimination, have been cited for frequent absences in the past two years. Stone had declined to identify the two women, but it was learned that they were the clerks who brought their accusations to the attention of Metro Finance Director Charles Cardwell three weeks ago. Earle declined comment on the charges yesterday. Patterson could not be reached for comment. "My job is to get results and I have to set strict guidelines to get them," said Stone, adding that his management style is no more authoritarian than that of other division heads. "I tell every employee they have to be here by 8 and can leave at 4 and that sometimes they have to work Saturdays, Sundays and holidays." At Cardwell's request, the Metro Law Department began investigating the charges last month, interviewing each member of Stone's staff and former employees. Cardwell has not described the charges in detail, saying only that Stone has been accused of harassing the two women verbal ly in the office. Although he refused yesterday to name Patterson and Earle as the employees who brought the charges, Stone accused "whoever did it" of "incompetence." "They are incompetent and inefficient when it comes to their jobs," he said. "They talk too much on the phone. They make glaring errors when they proofread material and they cannot reconcile bank accounts. "They hate and despise authority and discipline." Earle and Patterson perform many secre tarial duties in the office, such as answering the telephone and proofreading audits performed by the professional staff, which are then turned over to Cardwell. Stone acknowledged that his management philosophy has changed little since he took over the division in 1959, and employees in his office and sources close to the investigation said he leads by intimidation rather than trying to motivate his employees. Stone denied that he has ever discriminated against any employee, male or female. "If the facts are used and the truth comes out, I have no fear," he said. "I have no problem with truth and the facts. "What is to be gained from discriminating against anyone?" Cardwell has called the charges "very serious" and said he expects a final report to be completed Friday. He will make a decision then about whether to refer charges against Stone to the Civil Service Commission, which, if upheld, could cost Stone his pension. If the charges are substantiated, Stone could stand accused of violating the rules of the Metro Civil Service Commission and federal laws and regulations. Food Bank Serves Record Number By D WIGHT LEWIS Second Harvest Food Bank served a record 2,226 families here last month and officials said yesterday that freezing temperatures experienced in Nashville during that time contributed to the increase. "The families requesting food assistance from us are people in the community who live a marginal existence and it takes only one emergency to put their lives in chaos," said Angela Bonovich, director of the solicitationdistribution center for edible, unmarketable food. "Children home from school where they would have normally eaten free or a reduced priced breakfast and lunch cause families already on food stamps to run out of food earlier in the month," Bonovich said. Bonovich said, too, that heads of households who are hourly wage earners worked fewer hours during the inclement weather. "Sixty percent of all the people we serve are the working poor, and many of them are female heads of households," she said. She said the food bank serves people who have residences, rather than those on the street "Also, many of them are on fixed incomes." Bonovich said through its nine distribution points. Second HaiVest, which is funded by contributions, provided 56,691 meals last month. "These satellites would have been normally open 609.4 hours during the month but were only open 541.4 hours," she said. "The sites had to close early due to the inclement weather, shortage of volunteers and a shortage of food at the site due to the high demand for food." She said the emergency food boxes distributed to the families consist of a three-day supply of nutritious foods that would supply a total of nine meals per person. "January is generally a month where we provide a lot of meals, but this year it has been extremely high. Last January, for instance, we served meals to 1,911 families." "We are still experiencing a high demand for food with the cold weather still with us, but we will continue to do our best," Bonovich said. Second Harvest Food Bank Emergency Food Box Prog-am Jan.25 , T") Jan.18 Jan.ll ' IS12,960 V t Jan.4 A l l I 9,117 S 5-301 ( - 129 4 j y I 2,012 1 U S,,NSSs M Temperatures t . . ... '-, .' (In Degrees) e Total number served in January 1985: Meds Provided.. .56,691 Holts Open 541.4 Meds Provided PHxfsOpen Woman Claims Daughter Heir to Slain Man's Estate Body of Businessman Found in October Graph bv Frank 1m Grvens By KIRK LOGGINS A California woman filed suit here yesterday in an attempt to gain a share of slain Murfrees-boro businessman Russell Jones' estimated $1,078 million estate for her 5-month-old daughter. Patricia Ann Mason of Los Angeles said in a lawsuit filed in Davidson County Chancery Court that her daughter, Shannon Mason, born Sept, 4, is the "natural child" of Jones, 36, who disappeared last June 1 1. Jones' bullet-riddled body was found Oct 29, buried behind Jones Locker, the Murfreesboro meat packing plant he formerly owned. The plant's current owner and one of his former employees have been charged in connection with a plot to kill both Jones and his ex-wife, Christina Jones. Jones said in court documents filed last May that he had suffered "severe financial reversal" after his divorce from Christina Jones. He was $45,000 behind on alimony and child support payments to his ex-wife when he disappeared, according to records in Rutherford County Circuit Court But he still had in effect at the time of his death a $1 million life insurance policy, according to Nashville attorney Jude Lenahan, who represents the executor of Jones' estate. The suit filed by Patricia Ann Mason states that her infant daughter is entitled to one-fourth of Jones' estate, along with the three children whom Jones named in a will and trust agreement he signed in 1981. Jones included in those documents the unusual provisions that his children should receive f nothing from his estate should they ever "marry or cohabit with a person or persons of African or Hispanic descent ... or become a Yankee, reside north of the Mason-Dixon Line, or marry or cohabit with a Yankee or homosexual." ' The trust agreement provides for Jones' two daughters by Christina Jones and for Morgan Ryan Dorofee, his son by another woman, and for "any after-born children," Patricia Ann Mason's lawsuit notes. Her lawsuit, prepared by Nashville attorneys Daniel Paulus and Cyrus Booker, asks for a ruling that Shannon Mason is the child of Russell Jones and that she is entitled to the same share of his estate as his three other children. "They will have to establish paternity and demonstrate that the child was indeed forgotten," under the terms of Tennessee inheritance laws, said Lenahan, who represents Jones' executor, Mark S. Sheridan. The two men indicted last week in connection with Jones' shooting death also were charged with conspiring to murder his ex-wife, Rutherford County prosecutors said yesterday. Mike Lampley, the current operator of the meat packing plant, and Allen Hawkins, who formerly worked for Lampley, have been charged with improper disposal of a body. Hawkins has been charged with murder, and Lamp-ley has been charged with being an accessory after the fact of murder. Hawkins, 30, has been held without bond since his extradition from Colorado in December on charges of improper disposal of a body.

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