Council Sticks With Vann

Judge Vann

Eddie Simpson                                           Tony Aikens                                              Mike Henline

Forget the city charter, forget the attorney general's opinion, forget the MTAS opinion, we'll do what we want no matter what the law says. This is essentially what a majority of the Lenoir City council said Monday night. In a three to two vote, council voted to leave the city court clerk responsibilities with city judge, Terry Vann. Councilmen Buddy Hines and Bobby Johnson Sr. voted to return the clerk duties back to the treasurer/recorder. Councilmen Tony Aikens, Mike Henline and Eddie Simpson voted to leave the judge in charge. Gene Hamby was absent.

Vann was given control of the court clerks position last year by council after Judge Vann convinced the council they had the authority to supersede the city charter. Of course this was wrong. Article 8 of the city charter clearly states that the "The Recorder/Treasurer shall be the Clerk of the City Court." How is it then that a majority of the council could just ignore the same charter they are sworn to uphold.

Lenoir City treasurer/recorder, Bobby Johnson promised during his campaign that he would ask for the court clerk's position to be returned to his office as the charter requires. Johnson has done all he can at this point. His only options now will be to wait for the next election and hope Lenoir City voters would elect officials that will follow the law rather than ignore it. Or he could go to court which will cost the tax payers a lot of money.

Vote keeps Lenoir City clerk post separate

LENOIR CITY - The Lenoir City Council voted 3-2 Monday night against adopting an ordinance re-establishing the court clerk position in the City Recorder's office.

The vote was a setback for treasurer-recorder Bobby Johnson Jr., who was elected to the clerk-recorder-treasurer position last November.

Lenoir City residents voted overwhelmingly in an August referendum to keep the clerk position elected.

"I guess I'm going to have to take this to court," Johnson said after the vote.

The city council voted in May 2008 to allow City Court Judge Terry Vann to appoint his own clerk following the resignation of longtime clerk-recorder-treasurer Debbie Cook.