Aug 23 2007

Blount Today files this report with more details about ridiculous allegations of conflicts of interest at last week's County Commission meeting.

An excerpt:

Ramsey again said it appeared the commissioners were getting into a disagreement over personalities. At that point, commissioner Mike Walker said discussing individual county employees and who they go to for treatment comes close to violating the federal [HIPAA] laws.

Wendy Pitts Reeves writes at her blog regarding the controversy:

Both Commissioners Helton and Burchfield, along with nine others, voted AGAINST my request to ask for an attorney's opinion on a potential conflict of interest in July that involved the management or potential influence of $30+ million in county funds. Yet Mr. Helton then turned right around and, per his report, went straight to Mr. Cunningham's attorney to ask about what insurance Dr. Proffitt and I may or may not accept in our small private practices.

Follow both links for the rest of the story.

Try to watch this meeting on

Try to watch this meeting on the community channel.

Burchfield spoke first and freely with out interuption. Helton was qued to speak next but I got the feeling Chairman Ramsey knew what Helton was going to say because he stopped him before Helton was allowed to speak at all. That makes we wonder if Ramsey knew what Helton was going to say.

I really want to applaud and thank Commissioners Graham and Walker. These two men really were voices of caution and reason with the whole situation.

And to Wendy- THANK YOU! Not only for pointing out the possible problems of having the bank's VP on the purchasing committee but the issue of Hatcher's financial control being taken away from him and being given to Bennett. None of the MSM have even begun to touch that item. I admit I sure don't understand it but considering everything that is happening I am sure there is something there we all need to understand.


You know, Ramsey is a dentist. Does he never have patients from the county that he charges the county insurance for?

well, you might have heard

well, you might have heard one of the CCs make a comment about 'more than two' providers being on the Commission......

The more I think about this

The more I think about this, the more sense it makes.

According to the Campaign Disclosure report ((link...)), the Sheriff earns income from American Fidelity Bank. I heard he was on their board at one point. Can anyone confirm that?

Wendy Pitts Reeves was questioning the legality of Mike Lewis' service on the Purchasing Committee because he is a VP of American Fidelity Bank.

Scott Helton works for the Sheriff, who earns income from American Fidelity Bank.

Tonya Burchfield, or maybe her spouse, also earns income from the Sheriff's Dept., who earns income from American Fidelity Bank.

Suddenly, the attack on Wendy Pitts Reeves isn't looking like a very broad conspiracy. The source seems obvious.

When you look around the news of county gov't, you find lots of American Fidelity in there. Maybe we can have a contest to see how many different references can be found?

The only time I saw any

The only time I saw any reference to the sheriff and the bank was when Lewis read his newly required conflict of interest statement at the June Commission Meeting. I think it was June's meeting? It was that same meeting where something like a total of 17 conflict statements were read.

Now that link you provide is the state required Disclosure and it includes not only elected officials but those who are running for office as well. ( Side note, check out the State level list. Nice to see a rep claim income from eBay sales...)

Beyond the state required disclosure there is then the Conflict of Interest Statement that has to be filed with our own Blount County Clerk.

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