YOU SHUT UP
|These were the words Loudon County Mayor Doyle Arp
screamed when he was told he couldn't change the law. It all started
when Arp called a meeting with Loudon County Building Commissioner, Bill
Cox, Loudon County Trustee, Estelle Herron and Loudon County Property
Assessor, Chuck Jenkins.
Arp called the meeting to inform the group that Building Commissioner, Bill Cox, would change the Adequate Schools facility Tax assessed on developer/builder, Wes Cooper. As we have learned Cooper is disputing that he should have to pay the tax on the basement portion of his 6000 sq. ft. home in Tellico Village. Apparently Arp agrees with Cooper even though the Loudon County BZA denied his request for the exemption.
Arp told Cox in person and in a memo to make the change. Arp even told Cox that he might have to fire one of his (Cox) employees to pay for the lawsuit if Cooper sues the county. At that point Loudon County Property Assessor, Chuck Jenkins, told Arp that none of them including him (Arp) had the authority to overrule the BZA's decision. This is when Arp exploded. With his finger in Jenkins face, Arp told him to shut up. Arp then went on to have a screaming fit on the whole bunch, stomping his feet, slamming doors and yelling at the top of his lungs so most everyone in the annex could have heard him. Before storming off, Arp told Cox that he expects a memo from him by Monday with an answer to what he plans to do.
Loudon County Building Commissioner, Bill Cox, is now between the preverbal rock and a hard place. Cox maintains that he will not violate the law by bowing to Arp's demands. But if he refuses to violate the law as ordered by Arp, Arp could fire Cox for insubordination. And Arp is just low enough to do it.
Of course what Arp is doing is a clear violation of the law. In last weeks story, Arp Admits He Did It, we only had Arp's verbal confession that he had directed his lawyers to tell Cooper he didn't have to pay the disputed portion of the tax. Now we have the actual memo from Arp ordering Cox to break the law. The memo clearly written by Arp's lackey lawyer, Robert Bowman, starts out with a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo but the last two paragraphs are the important ones. Arp openly orders Cox to violate the law. This is absolutely a violation of TCA 39-16-403 - Official Oppression, which is a Class E Felony. This law deals with a public servant acting under color of office or employment who directs any other official to violate the law.
Arp has now apparently elevated himself above the state legislature, state laws, local laws, the courts and will do anything to take care of his developer buds. If Mr. Cox holds to his convictions and refuses Arp's demands and if Arp takes any action against Cox, maybe and finally county commission will step to the plate to protect honest county employees from Arp's wrath.