The Putnam Pit, a small, free tabloid and Web page published and edited by Davidian, is a self-appointed eye on government corruption for the City of Cookeville
 -- United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit

Refer a friend to this site.

Putnam Pit coverage of Cookeville Police incident involving shooting of a family dog Jan. 1, 2003, on I-40. Click here

'Howls of outrage' from around the world

As with his other failed schemes, Cookeville City Manager Jim Shipley
claimed to be pro-tourism and commerce and spent tens of thousands to censor critics telling the truth about his gang; but in the end, it was Shipley's own  attempts to retain the incompetent status quo and his refusal to impose any minimum standard of performance, along with City Attorney Mike O'Mara's unconstitutional, billing-fueled bad advice frenzy,  that explain what is documented in these pages . . .

How Shipley destroyed Cookeville

What Shannon Johnson says about Cookeville:

This town has so many problems with their police, why don't they just FIRE ALL of them and start over with a voted in patrol by other cities. I don't think any city has ever had the publicity from their police as this town has. All I hear from this town is horror and misbelief about the police that suppose to protect and serve. It seems the only thing they want is their way of life and the crap with everyone else's. This police department also KILLED my brother in law in THEIR so called jail. Oh but of course they only have records from their police department and NO ONE saw it but them. Then the hospital said that it took them over a hour to get him there. I bet if it was one of them or their family it wouldve been minutes instead of a hours. He was already dead and blue when they took him to the hospital!! All from the police that say their job is to serve and protect. PLEASE FIRE ALL OF THESE IDIOTS AND GET A REAL POLICE DEPARTMENT! THAT KNOWS HOW TO BE A DEPARTMENT AND HOW TO DO THEIR JOB CORRECTLY !! Read other comments about Cookeville's Police Department

Lesbians of the Bible Belt
Cookeville women look for other women on the Internet

Fed up with the Good Ole Boys, Upper Cumberland women look for lesbian relationships. Is your wife among them? Click here

What's the pattern here?
Cookeville's history of denying public records

Police Officer Eric Hall didn't have his video on when he blew the head off a family pet. The video wasn't working when Debbie Harris asked during at the Feb. 6, 2003 council meeting about the city hacking the Putnam Pit Web site -- nor was the audio! A city employee is sent running from the back of city hall to avoid having to turn over public records. For years, Cookeville City Manager Jim Shipley's government has found some reason why records of its performance could not be turned over to the public, despite the state Public Records Act. Story

What if they had just hired a competent chief?

$orry as money can make C'ville look

IT'S NO SIN TO BE POORCookeville's public apologies following the Jan. 1, 2003 execution-style dog killing by Police Officer Eric 'One Shot' Hall were not genuine expressions of sorrow, but a script; words written by an advertising professional paid more than $5,000 with public money. Story

It wasn't spent to get out the truth, but to control how the city looked, says Councilman Shelton. "It helped portray the city as well as possible," the H-C quotes Shelton, listed on Cookeville Police Chief Bob Terry's Pornography E-mail ring along with DA Bill Gibson.

"Basically [Mike McCloud] walked us through the statements we issued,"  City Manager Jimmy Dale Shipley is quoted by a local pro-government publication. "Services included writing news releases and 'a lot of consultation' with the police, with Shipley and with members of the City Council,' the publication asserts.

The publication does not mention whether the one question each council member asked of Shipley at the Jan. 16 Drama Center public meeting at which they were receiving Shipley's so-called "report" also was written by a hired professional with the goal of making it appear the report was truthful, the government legitimate and the city sorry.  H-C story


Cookeville destroyed records that showed whether they hacked Putnam Pit's Web site, City Attorney Mike O'Mara reveals

"The files you requested had been deleted when you made your earlier request and no longer exist." Click here

Police Officer Accused Of Child Rape

Monday, Franklinís chief of police stripped Anthony Clark, 33, of his powers and suspended him without pay after Clark was accused of raping a 12-year-old.
Full Story

Herald-Citizen stops burying stories about Police Department, like when they ran over mentally ill chase victim, in order to redeem dog-killing officer who humiliated Cookeville before the entire world

Smoaks lied, H-C reports

Eric Hall didn't have a flashlight on the shotgun he used to blow away the puppy on Jan. 1, 2003, the traumatized officer tells publication, casting doubt on the entire incident, on the Smoaks' credibility, on Hall's culpability although he has killed dogs before, on whether Cookeville is unsafe, on whether the H-C missed the facts in earlier stories and on whether the H-C understands that the flashlight is as  insignificant as its coverage of the issue

"In person, Eric is very calm, soft-spoken and deliberate," the H-C reports, "a far cry from a dumb, callous, trigger-happy cowboy as he's been characterized by people who've written and e-mailed letters to the H-C and in mail sent directly to him.

"Contrary to what Pamela Smoak is quoted as saying in the Jan. 2nd H-C story, Eric said he did not have a flashlight on his shotgun New Year's Day and he did not blow the dog's head off. The Smoaks alleged that the flashlight on the gun had attracted their dog, 'Patton,' toward Eric." Click here for whitewash.

  • Cookeville Police either call citizen complaints of animal abuse "unfounded," or "exonerate" the animal control officer for acting lawfully and proper, according to public records obtained by The Putnam Pit --  Part 1 (3 MB file is very big)

  • Cop to be arraigned on rape charges

Incident allegedly occurred after companion's arrest

February 7, 2003

GATLINBURG - A six-year veteran of the Gatlinburg Police Department will be arraigned Monday on charges he raped a woman last August after arresting her companion.

Robert Walker, 37, faces charges of rape, sexual battery and official oppression in connection with an Aug. 11 encounter with a Morristown woman while he was on duty as a patrolman with the Gatlinburg Police Department, records show. Story

Byron (Low-Tax) Looper loses appeal of life without parole sentence in murder of Sen. Tommy Burks -- Court opinion

Cookeville Police leave out crucial part of chase story --

Patrol car runs over suspect
Cops mum on whether car killed driver
Tennessee Highway Patrol seizes videotape, says Shipley

According to a Cookeville Police Department press release dated
January 31, 2003 /  9:30 AM:

"At about 5:50 A.M., Cookeville Police Officers were notified that a GMC pick-up truck being driven by a possibly impaired driver was entering our jurisdiction on West 12th Street. Officers Brad Sperry and Craig Wilkerson located the vehicle on North Washington Avenue.

"This vehicle had been stolen from the parking lot of Dominoís Pizza on North Willow Avenue at about 10:00 P.M. on Thursday night.

"The officers attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver refused to stop. The vehicle continued to flee north on Washington Avenue (Hilham Highway).

"The driver of the truck lost control and crashed near Paran Road. Although the crash occurred outside the view of the officers, they arrived immediately after the crash.

"The driver of the truck was identified as Jason Blamy, age 20, address unknown. He was deceased at the scene of the crash.

"Neither Officer was injured.

"The Tennessee Highway Patrol is conducting the crash investigation."

According to The Herald-Citizen: 'The lead pursuing unit skidded to a final rest in the northbound lane," the THP report says. "Skid ding debris, vehicle number two [a police car] was unable to stop before traveling over driver number one [Blamy]."

Wisconsin court has personal jurisdiction over Cookeville officials in hacking of Putnam Pit site, judge decides -- Hearing transcript

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Jan. 13, 2003) -- A Wisconsin judge today denied a Motion to Dismiss a lawsuit naming Cookeville, Tennessee officials for hacking the Putnam Pit's Web site ( The defendants who must go on trial in Milwaukee are Cookeville City Manager Jimmy Dale Shipley, City Attorney T. Michael O'Mara, Cookeville's Computer Manager Steve Corder and the city's insurance lawyer, John C. Duffy, of the Knoxville firm Watson & Hollow, which defends city officials through the Tennessee Municipal League's Risk Management scheme.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Dominic Amato said many telephone calls are bounced off satellites, but pointed out that you don't have to go to outer space to sue someone who cheats you by phone from another state. Likewise, he reasoned, if Tennessee officials reach out through the Internet to destroy Wisconsin property, those officials can be sued in Wisconsin regardless of where the host server is located. Pleadings --  Read the hearing transcript

Ho Ho Ho? or Ha Ha Ha?

Should Cookeville get a lump of coal for its gift of holiday asphalt?

Special to The Putnam Pit
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 26) --
If the city were not so busy breaking into other peoples' computers, it would be fitting that they expend an equal effort breaking into their own computers and find out the exact circumstances surrounding the three businesses here in Cookeville that got free paving this fall.  The building owner, Brenda Chase, in a phone interview, denies flatly that she had anything to do with the sudden and unexpected generosity of the city. Story

Coomer may have to pay his way this time

Former Putnam County Court Clerk Lewis Coomer faces federal civil rights suit alleging first amendment violations.


Coomer worked long enough to violate civil rights, suit alleges


It's just a copy, right?

COOKEVILLE (December 10, 2002) -- A government-employed computer technician certified by Microsoft who works in Cookeville's municipal building is under investigation by Microsoft after a Wisconsin lawsuit alleged he illegally copied and distributed software the onward to cookevillecorporation created, then  mailed it out of state along with the code that enabled its usage. Also named in the lawsuit are City Manager Jimmy Dale Shipley, who refuses to reveal evidence in his possession of whether a copyright violation occurred, City Attorney T. Michael O'Mara and attorney John C. Duffy of the Knoxville law firm Watson & Hollow -- who defends Cookeville for the Tennessee Municipal League's risk management pool -- but it is not alleged they had knowledge of the action. For more information, contact Rodney E. toll-free at Microsoft's piracy hotline, 1.800.785.3448.

Hospital news


  • Cookeville Regional Hospital has suffered a $2.8 million hit at the hands of one of its two TennCare MCO's and the administration is maneuvering to make up the unexpected huge loss in a series of belt-tightening moves. (August 15, 2002 11:55 AM CDT) See complete story.

Coughing up green stuff

  • Following an investigation by the United States Department of Justice, Cookeville Regional Medical Center repaid the federal government $489,000 for over-charges on Medicare reimbursement claims during a six-year period in the mid-1990's. The government charged that the hospital was coding some claims higher than they should have been in order to collect more money from Medicare, according to the Herald-Citizen. In addition, Paul Korth, the hospital's director of Finance, sent a check for $19,277 to lawyers representing a Barry Steeley of Baltimore, Md., who is described as a "relator" in the case.  --  Story

Now this is sick

  • Hospital board members have given Cookeville Regional Medical Center Administrator Tod Lambert raises totaling $56,000 over the past three years. -- Story


In The Realm of The Senseless

62,315 people in Putnam County faced a cancer risk more than 100 times the goal set by the Clean Air Act.


Cookeville City Manager Jimmy Dale Shipley denies public inspection of public records linking city employee to federal copyright violation

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (December 3, 2002) -- City Manager Jimmy Dale Shipley says he is restrained by federal copyright law from revealing information that would show whether software his government purchased was illegally duplicated and distributed in violation of federal copyright law. Read Shipley's E-mail



Just ask Crivello, Carlson & Mentkowski:

The Putnam Pit is good for commerce

Shipley Gang goes north; hires law firm

Wisconsin court to hear motion in hacking case against Cookeville's Shipley, O'Mara, Corder and TML's Duffy. Who is paying? Guess.


'Let me touch you (again)
 in your Constitutional places?'
(It'll be our dirty little secret)
Let me touch you in your Constitutional places?
Forgive us, Father Shipley, for being repeatedly molested by your government goons

Lawyers, city manager say computer manager acted on his own when he hacked The Pit's Web site

elcome to 
The Dark Side

City attorney O'Mara:
His client died while suing him for malpractice

'Huffy' John Duffy Lawyer admits he possibly purchased goods, such as cheese, which may have been made in Wisconsin

"Myself and City Attorney, Mike O'Mara, wanted to use at the trial of the website case  graphic displays consisting of blown up pages of The Putnam Pit website as it existed at time material to the case."

Is Steve Corder toast?

Cookeville officials, Tennessee Municipal League lawyer hire Milwaukee firm to defend them in Wisconsin hacking case.
('You mean, everything I do to save my butt is not more important than the law?')


We should be able to get away with it because we never set foot in Is Corder toast? Wisconsin when we  hacked The Is Steve Corder toast? Putnam Pit web site and changed documents just before trial so the jury would see them differently," Cookeville's junta may as well have argued in court documents. "Anyway, it was all Corder. He did it. We told him what to do and provided him with the computer, software and workplace on government time, but we did not tell him how to do it," they insinuate.  

Motion to dismiss and brief in support of motion

Unable to reconcile religion with constitution constraints, Putnam County officials do what they please until someone sues them at taxpayer expense

  • By Danny L. Newton
    Special to The Putnam Pit

    COOKEVILLE, TENN. (November 30, 2002) -- I
    Danny L. Newton drove by the courthouse last night and spied what looked somewhat like a Nativity Scene!  It was not exactly the traditional nativity scene. There were a couple of bales of hay, lights and a few figures that could certainly be recognized as figures from the first century middle east. This is not a Nativity Scene like Winter fest is not a Christmas celebration. Column

  • City pretends voter rejection of constitutional amendment will stop it from enforcing local law.

Herald-Citizen quotes only city and it's municipal league on the issue -- both of which favor higher fines in city courts. The H-C has never analyzed court revenue or reported how the city was caught jacking up revenue with the municipal court in 1995. The court exists to make money, not stop low-level violations.

  • Did you know how Cookeville sets its priorities? 

    While the City of Cookeville was busy revamping its Web site, defending civil rights abuses of utility customers and denying independent voices the right to speak publicly about the region's problems: 

62,315 people in PUTNAM County faced a cancer risk more than 100 times the goal set by the Clean Air Act.

  • 86% of the air cancer risk is from mobile sources

  • 14% of the air cancer risk is from area sources

  • 0.28% of the air cancer risk is from point sources

Here are the top polluters, according to the Environmental Score Card

Who Is Polluting Your Community?
Reported Environmental Releases from TRI Sources in 2000

Rank Facility City Pounds

If you are looking for a town like this to move to, consider Cookeville.

Let them eat cake! 

US Court pulls power plug from Cookeville's cold, dead, pitiless hand; ends illegal utility-rate extortion while H-C puts tries to put a proactive, positive spin on this shameful story 2 years late

Guilty of violating the rights of its utility customers, Cookeville now must advertise its crimes in the newspaper that refused to publish the story. Furthermore, the City's notice is another indicator that Cookeville has no concept of civil rights or due process -- a failing that has plagued the city since T. Michael O'Mara began enriching himself as city attorney. The Herald-Citizen waits until it is too late for victims to act before reporting a federal class-action civil rights lawsuit against Cookeville, then only quotes the losing lawyers who work for the government in a story the headline of which says the city is "clarifying" its policy. Clarifying? The city did not clarify its policy. The city was dragged screaming into federal court and the court had to issue a temporary injunction to stop the illegal actions. 

Click here

What does a city do when it needs money and jobs, faces federal civil rights suits and elects a new council? Why, in Cookeville, it takes pictures of politicians and redesigns its Web site, but still doesn't tell folks how to appeal power cut-offs.

If you are looking for a town like this to move to, consider Cookeville, Tenn.


Lewis Coomer denies he is an adulterer

Records obtained by The Putnam Pit show the former Putnam County court clerk bounced checks but got unsecured loans, enriched himself in land deals and spent $1,000 a month on groceries while collecting his $53,000 annual salary as Putnam County Court Clerk -- Documents


Conspiracies, Plots and Other Anti-democratic Notions
By DR. Peter Phillips, Special to The Putnam Pit

Paul Wellstone's plane crash wasn't an accident. The CIA bought stock options on United Airlines before 9-11 making millions in profits. The military sprays low-level bio-weapons on the public through airtanker contrails. The tobacco industry plotted to deceive the public on the negative health effects of smoking. Lee Harvey Oswald alone didn't assassinate John Kennedy. The FBI deliberately caused the fire in the Branch Davidian compound. Planted bombs from within the structure destroyed the federal building in Oklahoma City. AIDs was created in a government research lab. Mass inoculations are designed for citizen mind control. General Motors and Firestone conspired to destroy public transit in the U.S. The Bush White House interfered with FBI investigations into the bin Laden family before 9-11.  Read Peter Phillips' opinion, unless you've been instructed otherwise.


Is Cookeville's $150,000-a-year-city attorney, T. Michael O'Mara, paranoid?
Or is he the "bitter enemy" of veteran reporters who want honest government?

The Birdwell Dossier:

Convergence of smoke, mirrors, deceit, ignorance and prosecutorial misconduct

How D.A. Bill (Stupid or Corrupt?) Gibson exhibited stupidity and corruption in scheming to make cop shooter Zac Birdwell eligible for pre-trial diversion while pretending to step out of the prosecution of his friend. See the documents

If you are looking for a town like this to move to, consider Cookeville.

Davidian v. Corder et al.

Cookeville City Manager Jim Shipley OK's payment for legal fees to City Attorney Mike O'Mara for work in which the two men are defendants and city is not named. Document

Read the amended complaint in Davidian v. Steve (They Told Me to Do It) Corder, Mike (No Constitutional Guilt Trip) O'Mara, Jimmy Dale (I Didn't Even Know We Had A Web Site, Never Mind I Was At The Chamber Meeting When Corder Told Everyone) Shipley and "Huffy" John Duffy (2.7MB in PDF. Requires free Acrobat reader.)


Is City Attorney Mike O'Mara paranoid, or do reporters he victimizes consider him their "bitter enemy?" Story


If you are looking for a town like this to move to, consider Cookeville.

Men hold 39 of 40 top-paying Cookeville city government jobs. Data

  • Part-time City Attorney T. Michael O'Mara, who double dips at city hall while collecting a check from the city-owned Cookeville Regional Medical Center, made  $100,022.21 from the city alone in 2001, despite the fact that he was city attorney when Bandy's punishment scheme was hatched, the city's method of turning off utilities was determined illegal, he was sued for malpractice by a client who died awaiting justice and although his job is defense of the city's campaign to silence this web site -- even if it has to re-configure Putnam Pit pages for a jury. See data base

And they want YOU to pay higher traffic fines to support this?!


If you are looking for a town like this to move to, consider Cookeville.

The Birdwell Dossier

 Zac Birdwell

Cookeville Police Internal Affairs report:


If you are looking for a town like this to move to, consider Cookeville.

The mastermind (such as he is and to use the term loosely) of Cookeville's seemingly accidental yet shrewdly calculated and costly Mike (I Dragged Out My Malpractice Case Until My Former Client Died) O'Mara decline -- by scheming to deny out-of-state residents access to his own public records, by gaining the city national notoriety for computer pornography at city hall, then by finding a rationale to limit free speech, and now by refusing to acknowledge the city's unconstitutional extortion over utility bills until a class-action lawsuit put a notice in every electric bill -- was City Attorney Mike (I Make A Lot Off Taxpayers But It Is From Different Sources And Only The Pit Bothers To Add It All Up, God Damn Them) O'Mara, who now faces intentional tort, trespass and breach of contract charges in Wisconsin  while billing taxpayers with more and more abandon, even for his personal legal troubles.

Click image for full-size graph
Click image for full-size graph

If you are looking for a town like this to move to, consider Cookeville.

Birdwell gets diversion
No jail for cop-shooting cop

who shot his "good friend" will still be able to pack heat, thanks to DA Gibson's cowardice

Like fish in a barrel:

All the certification in the world can't make Cookeville Police look professional

W a r   o n   t e r r o r i s m !
Open season on Cookeville cops
Harsher penalty applies for fishing out of season than shooting a cop. Now, you can shoot a cop and get diversion -- and you don't even need a hunting license!

'Don't make it hard for stupid people in government!' Dubya.

Can this be true?
One more reason to overthrow the local injustice system, in our opinion, unless you are happy there are two systems of justice.

Is this for real?

 Please Participate in Our Justice Poll

Will Microsoft sue Cookeville for copyright violations?
Follow the Wisconsin court case as Cookeville government officials are tried on neutral turf

The Coomer dossier: Should repudiated Putnam County Court Clerk Lewis Coomer be forgiven for his crimes just because voters kicked him out of office? Read the dossier then decide whether Coomer deserves a pension . . . Vote here

Lewis Coomer:

He's not just a thief anymore

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To the Editor of The Putnam Pit: 

The rumor making the rounds is that there are a bunch of "activists" opposing the proposed Uranium Enrichment Plant on the Cumberland River in Hartsville, Tennessee. Just who are these "activists" who dare to challenge "the powers that be" (Both corporate and governmental) to stop the building of this plant? 

These "activists" are mothers who want their children to grow up in a healthy environment and become strong adults. These "activists" are farmers who till the soil from dawn to dusk and want to continue providing healthy food for you and me. These "activists" are doctors who are concerned about the health of their patients. These "activists" are military veterans who served their country in wars and are just as concerned about the well being of U. S. citizens in peacetime. These "activists" include bankers, lawyers, mechanics, waiters, waitresses, small business owners, truck drivers and people from every walk of life who are aware of the potential dire consequences that this type of operation can have in the surrounding communities. These "activists" are just like you and me. They are concerned about the welfare of their families, their neighbors and their communities. 

Dan Sweeton, United States Air Force, Retired Vietnam Veteran "Activist"
 305 Walker LN Lebanon, TN 37087 
Phone: (615) 444-1727                                  E-mail:

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