Zelenik ordered to appear on criminal contempt charges

GOP candidate didn’t show for deposition after rescheduling request was turned down

Republican congressional candidate Lou Ann Zelenik has been ordered to appear in Wilson County Chancery Court in September on charges of criminal contempt — and this has nothing do to with Muslims or mosques.

The charge stems from Zelenik's failure to appear for a deposition in a lawsuit between State Sen. Mae Beavers and Kathryn Belle of the Macon County Chronicle. That case revolves around whether a $50,000 check issued by Beavers was a loan or an investment used to purchase the newspaper. Zelenik is involved because she put $36,000 into the venture as well.

Zelenik was subpoenaed for deposition to appear on July 12 with documents relevant to the case, but on July 11 had her attorney call to say that the meeting had "slipped her mind" and that she was to busy campaigning to appear. She asked to reschedule the deposition for August, when her schedule freed up.

The attorney for Zelenik is Robert E. Lee Davies, former Circuit Judge for the 21st Judicial District of Tennessee.

When attorneys for Belle declined to reschedule, Davies on July 11 submitted a motion before Wilson County Chancery Court to quash the subpoena. That motion was denied by the court. Zelenik nevertheless failed to appear the next day.

At the request of Belle's attorneys, Zelenik has now been ordered to appear before Wilson County Chancellor C.K. Smith on Sept. 13 on charges of criminal contempt and to show cause why she should not be found guilty of the crime. If found guilty, she could face incarceration or financial penalties.

To view documents related to this case, click here.