Maggie Hunt fills vacated Lenoir City post

Maggie Hunt, the newly sworn-in pro-tem Lenoir City recorder-treasurer, said she is already working with City Court Judge Terry Vann to address the issue of uncollected revenue owed the city.

The Lenoir City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve Hunt to fill the remaining term of Debbie Cook, a 30-year veteran of the clerk's office who resigned March 23 after a conflict with Vann over the issue of uncollected traffic fines and court costs.

"We are already looking into what can be done to collect the money," Hunt said.

The clerk's office has started a letter campaign to notify those who can be reached, she said.

In addition, the city has scheduled a meeting with a private collection company, Maryville Collection Services, to see what other efforts could be made to collect the money.

Vann, who was at the council meeting to swear in Hunt, has said that the city is owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in uncollected revenue, a figure disputed by Cook before her departure.

"There are lots of avenues for collections that were never pursued," Vann said. "We can garnish wages; we can attach bank accounts."

Hunt's appointment would fill out the remainder of Cook's term, which ends in November 2008, if she decides to stay on that long, Lenoir City Mayor Matt Brookshire said.

"Her preference is to do this on a temporary basis, but we hope she will remain in the position for the next one and a half years," he said.