Nashville channel 4 on Danny Tate conservatorship

Musician Doesn’t Need Conservator, Says Judge
Nancy Amos
May 24, 2010
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A probate judge dissolved the guardianship that controlled a songwriter’s finances while he was addicted to crack. But the judge made no apologies for setting up the guardianship to begin with.

The guardianship has managed his financial and legal affairs for the last three years. The musician’s brother became Danny’s conservator when Danny was admittedly addicted to crack cocaine. Danny Tate said he is now clean and sober.

Circuit Judge Randy Kennedy ruled that songwriter Danny Tate no longer needs a conservator. The judge gave Danny’s brother David, the conservator, 60 days to account for how the money expended has been spent.

During the conservatorship, Danny Tate’s bank accounts dwindled to nothing. He’s not only paying his own legal fees, he’s paying the lawyers his brother hired.

For example, attorney Paul Housch billed the musician for more than $21,300 for work done in a period of two months.

Danny Tate’s estate, once valued at about $600,000, is now gone.

The conservation, including its legal fees, consumed more than $200,000 of the songwriter’s savings.

The courtroom Monday morning was packed with people wearing T-shirts reading “Free Danny Tate.” Supporters traveled from as far as Washington, D.C., and Key West, Fla., to show their support. They applauded loudly when Danny Tate entered the courtroom for the hearing Monday morning.

The lawyer for David Tate, Danny’s brother, agreed that there doesn’t need to be a permanent conservator. He asked for a temporary conservatorship so that Danny Tate will continue to undergo drug testing.

Danny Tate’s lawyer said that psychiatrists have found Danny Tate competent to handle his own affairs, and the lawyer asked to dissolve the guardianship.

“It was just a big victory for me, as an American citizen, to be able to make my own choices,” said Danny Tate.

Video from related 5/23 story.