Before we begin you need to assemble the required components.

The state required form SS- 8005
(link...)

The very important rules and guidelines to filing such forms (link...)

The Blount County Ethics Policy / Code of Ethics found here (link...)

Now, let's match these to what was disclosed at the June Blount County Commission Meeting.

Cut and pasted from the minutes of the June 2007 Blount County Commission meeting which are found in the July 2007 packet. Some came from the vote on the general budget, the rest from the non-profits vote.

Commissioner Burchfield gave the following statement: “Because I am an employee of Blount County Juvenile Court, I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”

Commissioner Burchfield gave the following statement: “Because I am an employee of Blount County Juvenile Court and on the Board of Directors of Blount County Children’s Home, I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”

Commissioner Farmer gave the following statement: “As I am an employee of Blount County Schools, I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”

Commissioner Farmer gave the following statement: “As I serve on the Board of Directors of the Blount County Children’s Home, I have a conflict of interest in this proposal. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”

Commissioner Helton gave the following statement: “Because I am an employee of the Juvenile Court Clerk’s Office, I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”

Commissioner French gave the following statement: “Because I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Seymour Volunteer Fire Department, I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”

Commissioner French gave the following statement: “Because I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Seymour Volunteer Fire Department, I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents

Commissioner Hasty gave the following statement: “Because my wife is an employee of the Planning Department of Blount County, I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”

Commissioner McCulley made the following statement: “If I may, I would like to announce that my wife is a school teacher with Blount County Schools and even though I’m not required by law to read a statement that has been read, I’d like to let it be know that she is a teacher with the schools and the school’s budget will be part of this budget tonight.”

Commissioner Walker requested that it be noted in the minutes “that the full commission realizes that we are voting on items that pertain to our own pay and it needs to be public knowledge that in order to follow the ethics policy of this body that needs to be noted in the minutes as well.”

Commissioner Lail made the following statement: “Just for point of clarification here and make sure that there is no misunderstandings, because I am a former and retired employee of Blount County Schools and my spouse is currently employed there. I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”

Commissioner Hargis made the following statement: “Because I am a member of the Friendsville Volunteer Fire Department Board of Directors, I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents. And I receive no pay”

Commissioner Hargis made the following statement: “Because I am a member and a Board of Directors member of the Friendsville Volunteer Fire Department, I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”

Commissioner Kirby made the following statement: “Mr. Chairman, I am a commissioner with Blount County Fire Protection District and I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”

Commissioner Kirby made the following statement: “I am a commissioner with Blount County Fire Department and I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that
my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”

Commissioner Proffitt gave the following statement: “I am on the Board of Directors of the Community Action Organization, I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”

Commissioner Lewis made the following statement: “Mr. Chairman, because the Sheriff is on the Advisory Board of Directors of the bank I am employed by, I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answ

Commissioner Lewis gave the following statement: “I don’t see any of the particular ones I served on currently, however I have served on some of these in the past and therefore I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”

I will double check to make sure these are all that were read but I have already checked this several times and don't think I missed any.

Now, have fun playing the match game. Who forgot where they worked or where they might have holdings and interests?

I found one!.., or lack of one?

I see that Commissioners Reeves and Profitt listed their investments. Oddly, Commissioner Lewis has none listed. I wonder if American Fidelity/Green Bank customers will get nervous because the head of their local bank doesn't trust the market. Or maybe he does. Don't executives of publicly traded companies have to disclose their company assets?

It was 10 days ago when the DT published this "no comment" (link...) from Lewis. I think he was at the last commission meeting on Thursday. Is he chiseling his answer in stone?

Perhaps it is not listed

Perhaps it is not listed because it is less than 10K ?

4 more have a conflict but

4 more have a conflict but did not read the same statement. you can guess but it may be hard to figure out why they did not read it!!

Play nice

Oh don't make us guess. Unlike many in our government, we can only play the games we see.

Need some help with the game

Does the county do business with First Tennessee Bank? Mr. Harrison reported income on the form from there, but didn't mention it in the meeting.

And does it do business with Rhea's Diving Center, which Mrs. Burchfield disclosed on the form, but didn't include in her statement? Heard somewhere Rhea's does business with the Sheriff dept, which her husband [http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20070317/NEWS/703170305]apparently works at.

And what about BellSouth, which Mr. French discloses on his form but doesn't mention? Do we throw any money their direction?

Yes to the Dive center. Yes

Yes to the Dive center.

Yes to First Tennessee.

I don't think Bellsouth is an issue simply because there is no real choice in land line telephone providers.

Please explain...

I don't know the connection between Mrs. Burchfield and Rhea's Dive Center; only that she reports receiving income from there. Is it kosher for a company she receives income from to do business with a department of the county she also receives income from?

Her husband works for the Sheriff and presumably, the Sheriff does business with Rhea's.

Any idea what that relationship with Rhea's is?

so McDonalds not ok either?

So, if you eat at or shop at anywhere else in the county, you will have a conflict in your view? You are stating where everyone has invested intrests in, and just because they may or may not part own in or has stocks in, is totally ludicrous. How many dive shops in this county??? So low and behold the sheriffs dept uses the heated indoor pool to practice and keep thier tactics fresh incase one of you or your loved ones has an accident in the water. I do think you are stretching the basics on all of this and reaching too far out there for no real purpose but to slander.

Anonymous

I think you totally missed the point of the McDonald's analogy. Mello was explaining that they have stricter controls on who can participate in their in-store contests than we do our Commissioners who make decisions about the county's $37 or so million dollars.

Mrs. Burchfield reported the income from Rhea's Diving Center, not me. I was asking a sincere question, no slander involved.

All this is being asked in the context of a bald-faced headline stating 2 out of 3 healthcare providers should resign from the Commission. (Apparently, some things are only a conflict of interest if you are a Democrat.) And to sum it up, Wendy Pitts Reeves wasn't even ON the Commission when the contract was drawn up, had immediately resigned from a committee she had been placed on BY THE MAYOR which discussed insurance, and voted AGAINST the budget in June.

But somehow WE are the ones guilty of slander?

Dear Anonymous

You can eat where ever you like. However, those who feed at the trough of the county funds must disclose where their bread comes from. Commissioner Burchfield did just that and she should be complimented for reading the state form and understanding how to fill out the questionnaire.

Thank you for pointing out another way the department uses the center's services. Are YOU saying that people within the department or in the county government own this business because none of us ever said that.

As far as this comment

You are stating where everyone has invested intrests in, and just because they may or may not part own in or has stocks in, is totally ludicrous

one would then expect you to call your commissioner and say it is totally ludicrous for the county to continue the witch hunt on social workers.

No Mello

Just like on the other thread, you can drive down on any road and you could have a conflict. I can see having to read that statement on any matters that you are directly associated in, making yourself or family member, beneficialy. But I wasn't making any judgements on the bloggers. Just that you can have a conflict shopping at walmart, home depot, lowes, krogers and anything at all if you invest buying stock. Just giving a wider approach and not narrow minded.

No, there is no conflict

No, there is no conflict driving down a road. Certain things we are all entitled to as citizens. Library books and roads are not conflicts unless status as a county official brings special privileges.

The ONLY problem any of us (or the state for that matter) is interested in is if a county official has personal gain from how the county spends our tax dollars. That is it.

We are where we are today with this entire conflict mess because WPR ask questions about how tax money is being spent by county departments. Period.

As I understand it, they

As I understand it, they sell the dive stuff the sheriff's department uses. Because tanks and such need refilled (or whatever the term is) we are actually lucky to have such a unique local business.

I would think there may be a problem if an employee of the sheriff's office moonlights at the dive center AND gets paid by the dive center to sell stuff to the sheriff's office or gets paid by the dive center to train county employees to dive- if the County foots the bill for such training.

Or perhaps selling replacement equipment to the department.

(link...)

No one has said any of these things are actually happening but it is the reason we have these statements on conflict.

Of course, this is the very kind of purchase that goes to the Blount County Purchasing Committee for approval which is at the heart of why we are having this discussion in the first place.

I will fess up here. The

I will fess up here. The info on the state form does not necessarily mean that the conflict has to be read in commission. They are two parts that need to be combined for the much larger concept.

We should be able to understand what needs to be declared before the vote based on what is printed on the State Ethics website. Not always, but it is a fine lead.

The pisser in all this is that 12-4-101 predates the new county ethics policy and the state disclosure.

FYI I see a sole source purchase vendor listed in those state forms. May a county employee work for a company that supplies goods or services to the county on a non-bid basis? May that person vote on the budget that buys those goods without reading that in a statement before voting?

What if your wife works for a bank the county does business with?

What if you work for the bank that keeps the bulk of the county money?

What if you are an elected offical and own rental property and rent it to a company that does business with the county?

What if this is all just something bright and shiny to deflect interest in next week's Planning Commission meeting which will open up the 1101 Growth Plan and turn 411 South into Alcoa Highway to preserve Townsend as the Privileged Side of the Smokies

BONUS ROUND!

(link...)

In previous opinions
dealing with TENN. CODE ANN. § 12-4-101, this office has opined that when spouses commingle assets,
a person has an indirect interest in any contract directly affecting his or her spouse’s employment. Ops.
Tenn. Atty. Gen.88-122 (July 13, 1988); 84-030 (January 27, 1984).

50 points!

spouse, spouse, spouse, spouse, spouse...., Yahtzee!

Spouse

Does his spouse work for the bank? The co-mingling of funds is more likely.

Not HIS spouse. Another CC

Not HIS spouse. Another CC appears to have a wife who works at yet another bank when the county puts money.

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