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
  • TMSAA rules get one-year try out

    Changes are coming for the elementary sports programs next year, with a 6-3 vote of the Cumberland County Board of Education. That vote of support of recommendations from the athletic committee was met with concerns from board members that the move towards county-wide rules and regulations was an attempt to move toward middle school teams.

    July 28, 2014 1 Video

  • ffg fire 1.jpg Fire damages home in Fairfield Glade

    Not only did Fairfield Glade volunteer fire fighters battle a blaze Saturday afternoon at 107 Runnymede Rd., hot weather conditions were a challenge as well.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Banned ex-boyfriend arrested in break-in

    Last Tuesday turned out to not be burglary and assault suspect Larry D. Durbin's day. It wasn't such a great day for his victim, either. Both were arrested.

    July 28, 2014

  • Changes to county wage scale cause debate

    County commissioners approved revisions to the Cumberland County employee wage scale, giving county employees a pay increase, but the changes to the scale created a brief debate among commissioners Monday evening.

    July 28, 2014

  • Suspects identified in arson fire

    Two Cumberland County men were detained and questioned in connection with an early Friday morning fire that destroyed or damaged two tractor-trailer rigs and a pickup parked at a closed business north of the city.

    July 28, 2014

  • Summer winding down in Tennessee

    July 25, 2014

  • Celebrating a year of writing our area's history

    Now that this column has passed its first birthday, I’d like to send thanks to those of you from our county and around the country who have sent messages and questions about things you’ve read in the Uncle Gib section. It is hard to cover many of these events in 500 words, and I try not go cover the same event more than three weeks. Research must be cut way down, and the most interesting information on each subject included.

    July 25, 2014

  • IMG_1806.jpg Celebrate Farmers Market Week Aug. 3-9

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared August 3 through 9, 2014, “National Farmers Market Week.” Throughout the week, USDA will celebrate the nation’s thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ayers2.jpg County OKs resolution for CMC/Covenant refinance deal

    Cumberland County commissioners passed a resolution Monday evening giving its approval for Covenant Health to refund its bonds to refinance $40 million for Cumberland Medical Center.
    The request was made by Covenant Health, a Tennessee nonprofit corporation which now operates Cumberland Medical Center.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plea includes ban from all Wal-Mart stores

    A Crossville man who was facing two counts of theft of more than $500, relating to shoplifting incidents at the Crossville Wal-mart, has entered a guilty plea, and part of his sentence is being banned from all Wal-Mart stores.

    July 24, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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