Blount Co. leaders disagree on sunshine violation

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Blount County's mayor contends three county commissioners violated the state Open Meetings Act when they joined a citizen activist who took his complaints about county accountability to Nashville for a meeting with state auditors.

County Mayor Jerry Cunningham says Commissioners David Graham, Monika Murrell and Wendy Pitts Reeves broke the law by discussing current budget issues Wednesday with Jim Folts of Citizens for Better Government and the state Division of County Audits.

Folts claims 25 vehicles are missing from the sheriff's office, though the state comptroller's office in its most recent county audit found only paperwork problems with the disposal of about eight vehicles.

Pitts Reeves tells The Daily Times newspaper that "no decisions were made. We weren't talking policy."

Frank Gibson with the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government said he doubts this violated the law, which requires public notice of meetings of public officials. The Associated Press is a member of the coalition.

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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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