Lenoir City’s mayor and city administrator say there is nothing
questionable in regard to the recent resignation of City
Recorder/Treasurer Bobby Johnson Jr.
When asked if there was any reason to suspect something
inappropriate was going on in Johnson’s office, Mayor Tony
Aikens said not at all. “Well, I’m not aware of anything,” he
There is no reason to believe there was any wrong doing, said
city administrator Dale Hurst. “I have no reason to believe
there was any inappropriateness involving any money or anything
like that,” he said. “I have every reason to believe there’s no
The city is currently being audited and Hurst said those finding
are not yet available, but will be in the near future. “The
audit’s not complete... I won’t be able to share the finding
until the auditors put together the draft,” he said.
Brown Jake & McDaniel out of Knoxville is currently auditing the
city office, Lenoir City Schools and Lenoir City Utility Board
and will combine the three in its report.
Johnson was elected to the position in 2008 after a referendum
to make the job an appointed position failed.
Hurst and Aikens both agreed the job of recorder/treasurer
should not be an elected position. “I fully believe that office
should be an appointed position, however it was on the ballot as
a referendum the election before that and of course that failed
by the majority of the people,” Aikens said.
The only current requirements for the position is you have to be
a resident of Lenoir City for a year and obtain 25 signatures.
“I would prefer a qualified individual, man or woman, to head up
our finance department,” Hurst said.
He thinks fewer towns are electing the position due to city
growth and revenues, while in smaller towns it’s not as big a
problem. “It’s more involved, complex and more money and
grants... it’s big business,” he said.
While Hurst said the position should be appointed, he said he
also respects and appreciates the public’s decision for it not
to be. “I believe in our system... I just personally believe
that, it’s a very important job,” he said.
“I believe it needs to be an accountant or
someone obviously with experience... unfortunately it’s a two
year job for somebody... it may be difficult to find somebody,”
Hurst said the city should go through personnel interviews to
find the most qualified candidate. “Just like you would any
other department head,” he said.
Temporarily appointed, Chief Deputy Clerk Maggie
Hunt, who has worked for the city for several years, was a
logical choice, Hurst said.
“She’ll fall right into place,” Aikens said, adding she has had
some recent health issues. “She doesn’t want to do it for a long
period of time and I’ve asked the city administrator to move
fairly quickly to find us someone that’s qualified and I’m sure
he’ll do so,” Aikens said.
Hunt previously held the position on a temporary basis between
the time the former city recorder/treasurer, Debbie Cook,
retired and Johnson was elected.
Hurst said he thinks another temporary recorder/treasure will be
placed for the remainder of Johnson’s term. “They could have a
special election, but that would of course cost several
thousands of dollars,” he said.
To put on the next election’s ballot for the position to be
appointed is up to city council.
The city charter provides for a charter review committee to be
established every three to four years, Hurst said. The charter
states the mayor can convene the committee to look at the
charter, deliberate and suggest changes or no changes at all.
“They offer those recommendations, then city council by
ordinance takes up those recommendations and says yes or no, to
put them on the ballot,” Hurst said.
Lenoir City Council is schedule to meet again 7 p.m. Monday,
Jan. 10 at City Hall.