LC Council Chaos
|The usually calm,
choreographed Lenoir City Council meeting was anything but, Monday
night. Finger pointing and accusations were rampant to the end.
One of the first controversial items to be addressed was item 6 on the agenda. "Discussion/Consideration of possible legal action in reference to missing records." Lenoir City attorney, James Scott, reported that he was prepared to sue the Knoxville News Sentinel to force them to divulge where they acquired the now infamous employee reprimands the brought to light a number of incidences at City Hall. Council ultimately voted to table the measure till the DA's investigation is complete. It's not very likely the city will sue the News Sentinel and even less likely they could be successful if they did but it makes good press.
The meeting really heated up at the end. Councilman Eddie Simpson asked to make a statement pertaining the whole missing reprimands story. His statement began with his version of what happened in the meeting between him and Johnson. Simpson maintains that he simply asked Johnson to be fair. Johnson's version of the meeting was far different. Simpson went on to tell how he discovered that former Treasurer/Recorder, Bobby Johnson spent some $700 on office paraphernalia, ink pens, calendars, little footballs and baseballs with Johnson's name and Treasurer/Recorder printed on them. Simpson said he felt this was not an appropriate use of city funds. Johnson repaid the city for the office trinkets.
Simpson went on to take a local web site to task, not mine. Simpson took issue with a story at www.beckywatkins.com that brought into question elected officials who hold more than one elected position may be double dipping on benefits paid for by tax payers. Simpson likened the story on the web site as potentially causing the same outcome as the Arizona shooting of congresswoman Gabriel Giffords.
As Simpson finished, Bobby Johnson Sr. said he wanted to make a statement then things really got hopping. Johnson Sr. reminded Simpson of the time he got caught taking water from the city system for personal use. Johnson was referring to an incident back in 2006 when a resident of Simpson's Executive Meadows informed council that Simpson had been using unmetered water in the development.
Chaos and dissention among elected officials is never good for the citizens. There seems to be at least a couple of different versions of the same story. Maybe at some point we'll learn the truth. Till then, hold on to your hats, it may be a rough ride.
Legal action on Lenoir City records tabled