The Judge Was Wrong

Back in May, Lenoir City Judge Terry Vann managed to convince the council that they had the power to override the city charter and give him (Vann) authority over the city court clerk's position. The judge either didn't know what he was talking about or he intentionally deceived the council. Either way judge Vann was wrong.

A lot of controversy surrounded the council's decision. But the controversy can now be put to rest. Lenoir City Treasurer/Recorder elect Bobby Johnson Jr. contacted MTAS, The Municipal Technical Advisory Service, as to whether the law cited by Judge Vann actually superseded the city charter. The answer from Sid Hemsley, Senior Law Consultant with MTAS, absolutely not.

In a written opinion to Johnson, Hemsley made it clear that the city charter would not be trumped by the law cited by Vann, The Court Reform Act Of 2004. That law would only apply in the absence of any provisions to provide for a city court clerk. The city charter clearly states that the Lenoir City Treasurer/Recorder "Shall serve as city court clerk. The Recorder/Treasurer shall be the Clerk of the City Court."

As the old saying goes, "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry" could easily be applied to the long journey those who have tried so hard to take over city hall. Looks like they're back to square one and Bobby Johnson Jr. is sitting right in the middle of the square where he should be.

Click Here To Read MTAS Opinion