In the U.S., an accused person is presumed innocent until proved guilty. Or is he? Say what you will about attorneys, state bar associations are notoriously strict concerning whom they license. Recently two local attorneys have been in the news, both charged with various sexploits.
Edward Ray “Chip” Dillard now faces over a score of charges related to a local human trafficking scheme. If you check the Alabama Bar Association’s website, you will no longer find Dillard’s name among those licensed to practice in this state. A confidential source has told us Dillard’s Athens attorney Dan C. Totten advised him to surrender his law license immediately after his arrest.
Dillard was booked on the new charges Thursday, raising his bail to $750,000.00 cash. In other words, you will more likely see porkers soaring over the Shoals before you’ll see Dillard walking around as a free man before his trial, now scheduled for December 12th.
Likewise, Dillard’s co-defendant Timothy Staggs was returned to jail on similar new charges. It remains to be seen if he can come up with $100,000.00 more in cash. Several local crime aficionados have contacted us with their predictions concerning the fate of Dillard and Staggs, the term “state’s evidence” running through most of these communications.
Who will flip first? If stories are true that many of these women were bused into Tennessee to participate in parties similar to those alleged to have taken place in Florence and another Shoals town, there may be federal charges in the offing…and a chance for both Dillard and Staggs to name those in a larger network.
Dillard isn’t the only Florence attorney whose name no longer appears among those licensed to practice in Alabama. You’ll no longer find the name of Donald Tipper among the ranks of licensed lawyers in the Shoals.
Tipper is currently under indictment for the first degree rape of a client. He’s no stranger to criminal charges, having been arrested for possession of cocaine during a traffic stop several years ago. For whatever reason, these charges were dropped, and Tipper continued on his merry way until his February arrest for rape.
At least eight women have agreed to testify that the married Tipper either paid them for sexual favors or bartered legal services for the same. Now Tipper has requested the testimony of these women be excluded as irrelevant to the case. We do agree that being an absolute sleezeball doesn’t make one a rapist. If the case comes to trial, there should be standing room only in the courtroom.
Shoals Democratic Club Meeting
Monday July 18th, 2016
Speaker is Dr. Jess Brown
Location: Operating Engineers Hall, Dr. Hicks Blvd.
Florence, Alabama Time: 6:00 p.m. for food and 6:30 p.m. Event
A Little about Dr Brown:
Recently retired professor of government and public affairs from Athens State after 34 years in the classroom. Dr. Jess Brown has served as a commentator and analyst for mass media in Alabama for a generation. Has conducted exit polls for all of the network affiliated TV stations in Huntsville. Has been a guest on all of Huntsville's TV stations, but appears mostly on Channel 19. Appears often on Channel 19's public affairs show, Leadership Perspectives, and is a weekly guest on the region's dominant talk radio show, The Dale Jackson Show. Is probably the best known professor for political commentary in the Tennessee Valley region of the state. Has served as an election night analyst for every election cycle since the Reagan-Carter election of 1980.
Excel Computers owner and former Florence City School Board member Jim Fisher has thrown his hat into the ring for District 6 council member. He will be facing incumbent Andy Betterton and Bob Hill in the August 23rd election.