After months of waiting, the fate of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust in the Tennessee State Capitol won’t be decided this week after all. The Tennessee Historical Commission (THC) decided to delay the final hearing over the Confederate bust, as well as those of U.S. Navy Admirals David Glasglow Farragut and Albert Gleaves, on Wednesday due to the poor travel conditions.
THC Historic Preservation Specialist Susan McClamroch informed The Tennessee Star that they wanted to ensure no problems posed by virtual hearings would occur during the proceeding.
“Although the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) presiding over the final hearing of the State Capitol Commission’s petition for waiver would have attempted to proceed via WebEx, we were concerned that the potential for something to go wrong was too great to proceed with this important hearing – without the ALJ, attorneys or witnesses being present,” stated McClamroch. “So, the decision was made to continue this hearing until at least some involved can be physically present.”
The other two hearings before the commission concern the Williamson County Seal and the Knoxville Marker will continue since they are both initial hearings, not a final hearing requiring an ALJ to be present.
“The sole purpose of these initial hearings is to compile lists of people who should receive notification of the waiver petition, so that they can take part in the process by submitting comments and actually intervening as a party if they so choose,” wrote McClamroch. “Final hearings, however, are concerned with the merits of the case. They are like trials, with arguments, evidence, witnesses, etc. For that, an Administrative Law Judge is needed to preside over the hearing – ideally in person, in the same room with the petitioner’s attorney representatives and witnesses.”
TCH will meet on Thursday and Friday of this week. The final hearing for the Forrest bust was rescheduled for March 9.
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