Victim of 2-year court battle hounds Dunlap over iffy annexation

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Steve Darnell, an administrative judge from the Tennessee secretary of state’s office, goes inside the old courthouse in Sequatchie County to begin a hearing in a battle between a feisty constittionalist and a city government’s sketchy annexation history. (Photo David Tulis)

The town of Dunlap settled a two-year fight to inspect or search a private house without a criminal warrant. The case pit an aggressive mayor, DeWayne Land, and property owner Carol Gaddy, a constitution-quoting Americanist who insisted that no officer would come in her house without a search warrant.

By David Tulis / 92.7 FM NoogaRadio

Today the battle continues in what looks like a bite against the city’s backside after it enmixed itself with Mrs. Gaddy, a feisty former real estate businesswoman who sees herself in conflict with the county good ole boy’s network and due-process violating town notables.

The city is defending its annexation from the 1970s in an administrative hearing in Dunlap today after Mrs. Gaddy claims it was not finalized and that she and her disputed acre on a bend in Coops Creek a carbine shot away from city hall is not in the city whatsoever.

The hearing is a redo from the administrative case in the secretary of state’s office that heard Mrs. Gaddy’s appeal earlier and ruled against her without allowing her to have her witness in October. Administrative law judge Rachel Waterhouse ruled against the Gaddys’ 4½ months after the hearing based on “a preponderance of the evidence.”

But there was no evidence, she insists. Today, the expert witness, a retired surveyor, Levi Condra, is going to be heard in the old courthouse in Dunlap.

The implication in the Gaddy claim is that the city corporation defrauded hundreds of people in Sequatchie County by taxing them as if they were subject to the municipal corporation.

Mrs. Gaddy says the annexation resolution 44 years ago was not voted on by the city commission. Norman Hatfield was keeper of the books for the city at the time, Mrs. Gaddy says, but city attorney Stephen Greer did not have his witness bring the record.

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