State Rep. Hurley hired as LCUB summer help

Brittany Davenport News Herald

Lenoir City Utility Board customers may hear a familiar political voice when they call in to pay their bills as State Rep. Julia Hurley was recently hired for customer service work.
Each summer LCUB takes on several college students to help fill empty spots as full-time employees take vacations, said LCUB manager Shannon Littleton.
The positions typically go to college students to help them get job experience and the students are often brought back each year through out their collage career, Littleton said.
It's not advertised. We typically just hire random college kids throughout the year, he said.
Hurley was hired June 6 and like the other nine seasonal employees will earn $8 an hour and work between 20-32 hours, he said.
Hurley, who is currently being trained for the job, was recommended by several people and spoke with Littleton toward the end of last year about possible summer work, Littleton said.
As to why the exception was made to hire Hurley over the usual college student, Littleton said he did not have a response. "Other than it was Julia Hurley and she needed some summer work," he said.
It's not a written policy that we have (to hire college students), it's been a practice that we have done over the years," he said.
"We broke the tradition and let her come in and do that," Littleton said. "And it's not something that we typically do."
Littleton said he did not know about any ethical reasons Hurley should not be hired.
"I actually questioned it and I asked her to address it, with any ethical concerns with anybody in Nashville and she said that she did and it was perfectly fine. And that was her response, so I took her at her word for that, Littleton said.
LCUB has cut back on all summer time help given the state of the economy, he said.
Last year LCUB employed 22 seasonal workers, and this year that number is down to 10.
"We're down tremendous amounts in our summer work," Littleton said.
Summer part-time workers are on hand until school starts back, he said.
Until than, Hurley will be answering phones, taking bill payments and possibly taking meter orders, he said.
After her training, Littleton said, Hurley will work at other LCUB customer service offices in Farragut and Cedar Bluff.
Attempts to reach Hurley were not returned by press time.