PD Drops Recusal Motions Against Judge

A two-week standoff between the Chattanooga public defender and local criminal court judge that tied up 143 cases ended Tuesday with a one-sentence motion. Ardena J. Garth, public defender for the 11th Judicial District, gave notice yesterday that she is striking all of her motions for recusal effective immediately. The move may break the impass between the two, but the Times Free Press  reports that it may not settle the dispute, which has Garth on the record accusing the judge of creating a hostile work environment and questioning his impartiality. Likewise, the judge is on record accusing the public defender's office of poor management, sloppy lawyering and undermining justice. Both parties declined to comment about the recent dispute.