Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

January 15, 2013

TML defense of Wyatt raises questions

CROSSVILLE — Even though the matter had been covered during the Crossville City Council's work session last week, it came back up during the regular council meeting and led to some strong words back and forth between the city attorney and one councilman.

The matter is the issue of a lawsuit filed by former city manager Jack Miller against Boyd Wyatt after Wyatt had made comments about Miller during a city council meeting following Miller's firing at an earlier council meeting.

The lawsuit was filed personally against Wyatt and not against him as a councilman or against the city, but because the details of the lawsuit indicate the comments were made during a meeting and could be considered as being made as a councilman, the Tennessee Municipal League (TML) chose to defend the lawsuit.

The question from councilmen Jesse Kerley and Pete Souza is how did the lawsuit get to TML without council action?

The city has a liability policy with the TML and according to city attorney Ken Chadwell, all lawsuits that involve the city, employees or officers must be sent to TML for their review. Following that review, TML opted to defend Wyatt in the suit though Chadwell pointed out, depending on the outcome of the lawsuit they could seek payment from Wyatt for the defense.

The issue was brought up Tuesday by councilman Kerley who asked city manager Bruce Wyatt for “a report for next month's meeting disclosing how the lawsuit concerning former councilman Boyd Wyatt Sr. was brought before the city of Crossville to turn into their insurance at TML and update the public on how much that's costing the taxpayers in insurance premiums.”

City manager Wyatt asked attorney Chadwell if there were any legal issues there and Kerley quickly responded, “I don't feel there are any legal issues just to inform the public that their taxes are going to pay for a private lawsuit and that it was never discussed before a council meeting. I want to know how that originated.”

Chadwell explained that the decision was TML's and the city was required by contract to report the suit to them. Chadwell added that TML would do the same thing for any of the current sitting council members.

Kerley said he had read depositions of the lawsuit and commented that Boyd Wyatt wouldn't answer questions about who was paying for the defense of the lawsuit. Kerley said that had raised his concern.

Councilman Pete Souza joined the discussion saying, “TML wasn't out there waiting to represent Mr. Boyd Wyatt or anyone else for that matter so there had to be some procedure to contact TML.”

Attorney Chadwell interjected strongly, “And under that procedure Mr. Souza, every suit that comes in here is tendered to TML. That's our contract with them.” Chadwell continued, explaining the matter for a third time in a week, “There's nobody sitting around deciding who gets defended and who doesn’t get defended and I think that's very important because anymore discussion about that is really wasting our time. We have to honor our contract obligations and they (TML) make a decision about who picks up a defense.”

Souza commented, “Maybe you answered the question.”

Chadwell shot back, “I think I did answer the question councilman Souza.”

Souza then added, “But whether we're wasting your time or not is not relevant, because we pay you for your time, quite well.”

Councilman Kerley also requested that the manager put together a report on all the city customers who currently pay for sewer but are not actually connected to the sewer line. An early Environmental Protection Agency grant the city received for improvements to the waste water treatment plant mandated that the city require that all customers who are within a certain distance of the sewer line pay a sewer bill whether they are hooked to the line or not. This has been required by the city since the 1980s.

1
Text Only
Area News
  • rendezvous.jpg TSRA starts spring off with paddling trips

    About 150 members of the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association (TSRA) recently gathered April 2-6 in Crossville at Camp Nakanawa for the Annual TWRA Rendezvous.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Panel recommends using third-party billing for old EMS bills

    The budget committee approved hiring the same third party billing company to help go through older EMS ambulance service bills to resubmit them to help the EMS department get caught up with billing collections.

    April 19, 2014

  • Sales tax collections down

    Cumberland County Finance Director Nathan Brock reported to the Cumberland County Budget Committee that local option sales tax collections have fallen below budgeted projections for the 2013-'14 fiscal year.

    April 19, 2014

  • Motion to toss evidence in burglary denied

    A defense motion to have evidence seized by deputies searching for a man who fled warrant service thrown out failed when deputies testified they had oral permission from the defendant's son to search the residence the father and son share.

    April 18, 2014

  • donate life.jpg Organ donation gives man new lease on life

    Travis Hodges has a new lease on life, thanks to a selfless gift a young father made the year before.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fireworks, sign change get council OK

    While the April Crossville City Council meeting was generally a calm one, there were some fireworks on the agenda.

    April 18, 2014

  • quackers at the library.jpg Spring jamboree

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suspect charged in Sportsman Club break-in

    A Crossville man has been arrested and charged in connection with the burglary of a shooting club's building in the county that occurred last week, according to arrest reports.

    April 17, 2014

  • Panel discusses auditing hotel/motel tax collections

    Commissioners on the budget committee discussed the possibility of auditing hotels and motels in the county regarding the collection of hotel/motel tax collection figures being down.

    April 17, 2014

  • Repent burglar must serve time

    Some defendants cry, because they get caught, and others are tearful with remorse. No one in the courtroom doubted Robert Killeen's sincerity when he apologized to his victim, his loved ones and supporters for committing crimes against an elderly widow, stealing the money her late husband left her.

    April 17, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice