Chattanooga, Tn., Municipal Judge Russell Bean has rescinded an offer that the cases of misdemeanor traffic offenders would be dismissed if defendants made a $100 donation to a tsunami relief charity. The Chattanooga Times Free Press quoted Bean as saying “there could be some potential legal problems to come out of this.” The judge had announced the policy on Monday.
City Councilman Ron Littlefield, who is running for mayor, praised the original policy. “What he's attempting to do is a good thing,” he said. “The tsunami was a cataclysmic event, where people need humanitarian aid.” Councilwoman Sally Robinson worried about the impact on taxpayers. “The fact is, the fines collected are used to support the judiciary branch of the government, and that's only fair,” she said. “If people are excused from paying their fines, that will have an adverse impact on our revenues, and then it'll fall onto our citizens to make up for that.”