Scoop: Nashville was the only news outlet inside a Nashville court room on an early Thursday morning in April, for a special called hearing on the future of Nashville’s Community Bail Fund. Today we have the outcome of that hearing, which had Nashville’s former Public Defender Dawn Deaner at odds with a panel of judges, and unwilling to answer many questions asked of her, despite everyone in the room knowing the answers. Deaner is romantically involved with the manager of the Community Bail Fund, Rahim Buford, and represented him during the hearing, but refused to answers the court’s questions about how she provided a metro government access card for government buildings to her alleged lover, Buford of the Bail Fund, that no other bond companies were provided.
A new court order signed May 6th by Criminal Court Division 1-6 judges states the Davidson County Criminal Court hereby rescinds the 2016 order allowing Nashville Community Bail Fund to post new bonds, effective May 20th, 2019.
The Nashville Community Bail Fund began in April of 2016, when a panel of Nashville judges entered an order allowing any cash bail bond deposits of $5,000 or less posted by by the Nashville Community Bail Fund, to be returned to the fund, in full, without anything being deducted for fines, fees, court costs, or restitution that was owed – a feature now exclusive to the Community Bail Fund, and not enjoyed by any other poster of a cash bond. This was all done without an evidentiary hearing, and at the behest of the Davidson County Public Defender’s office, then held by Dawn Deaner, who is romantically involved with the sole full-time employee of the Community Bail Fun Rahim Buford (AKA Rodney Neal Buford), who served 26 years in prison for a murder he committed during an armed robbery at 19, and was released in 2015.
Since that April 6th, 2016 order was signed by the sitting judges at the time, several issues have arisen, causing the court to reconsider allowing the Nashville Community Bail Fund to operate under its current guidelines. Of the original authorizing judges, Judge Wyatt and Judge Norman have since retired, replaced by Judge Dalton and Judge Smith, changing the outlook of how the panel viewed the Community Bail Fund.
Of significant note during the recent hearing, The Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk’s office says there are currently $104,200.00 in conditional forfeits on bonds posted by the Nashville Community Bail Fund. According to testimony given by Dawn Deaner, who represented the Bail Fund during the hearing, the Community Bail Fund has made zero efforts to track down anyone that didn’t show up for court, other than possibly placing a phone call to see if they were available. The Community Bail Fund employs no services of any bounty hunters, skip tracers, or programs to track anyone they posted the bail for – and they had no incentive to, as they have not had to pay for any forfeits, the money is simply returned to them to be used to pay the next person’s bail. According to Deaner’s testimony during the hearing, they collect ‘basic’ information such as name and phone number if one is available, of the person they post the bond for. They will collect names and numbers of personal references, if they have them available, but are not required as a condition of qualifying to be bailed out via the fund.