AG Opinion Is In

The much awaited Attorney General opinion on the matter of the Lenoir City Court Clerk is in. The opinion posted on the state web site yet again confirms that the Lenoir City Treasurer/Recorder is the court clerk as required in the city charter.

Click Here For The AG Opinion

Back in May, City Judge Terry Vann was able to bamboozle the city council into allowing him (Judge Vann) to take over the court clerk position in violation of the city charter.

There are now three separate and distinct documents that state that the Treasurer/Recorder is to be the city court clerk.

The Lenoir City Charter:

1. Compensation, specific requirements, powers and duties of office.
2. Shall keep minutes.
3. Shall be the custodian of public records, bonds, etc.
4. Shall provide and certify copies of records, papers, etc.
5. Shall generally supervise and keep records of fiscal affairs.
6. Shall be the treasurer.
7. Shall serve as city court clerk. The Recorder/Treasurer shall be the Clerk of the City Court.
8. Appointment of recorder pro tempore.

Sid Hemsley, MTAS, Municipal Technical Advisory Service  when asked if the Judge can appoint the city court clerk:

"in my opinion no."

And last but not least, the attorney general opinion:

"If the statute or private act requires the city court clerk to be popularly elected then the city council may not appoint the city court clerk."

One, two, three strikes you're out. It is blatantly obvious that Judge Vann just refuses to give up his fight to take over the court clerk position. Vann has even threatened to take out a "friendly law suit" to let a court determine if he has the right to take over court clerk's position.

Enough is enough. Lenoir City has a duly elected treasurer/recorder/court clerk as mandated by the charter and it's time to let him do his job. Clearly it is the authority of this person, Bobby Johnson Jr., to be the court clerk. Judge Vann seems determined to continue this ridiculous waste of everyone's time for his own gain. At some point city council will have to step to the plate and put their house in order.