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Ethics committee sends complaint to DA

By Kimberly Jordan kjordan@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:16 PM

The Wilson County Ethics Committee met Thursday to discuss two complaints brought before it recently.

Before hearing either complaint, Chairman Frank Bush wanted to discuss the procedure for handling complaints. He brought copies of the procedures used by Davidson County as a possible reference.

“I know we haven’t reviewed procedures in any depth,” said Bush. Using the Davidson County model, Bush said, “There is an initial review to determine whether or not a complaint should be considered on its merits or whether it should be dismissed before any discussion or hearing takes place.

“I think that’s a useful procedure to basically get rid of complaints that ought to be dismissed immediately.”

The first complaint was brought forth by Derek Dodson, of Lebanon, and alleged “violation of fiduciary duty” against several individuals.

Bush moved to dismiss the complaint due to lack of evidence, and the motion was approved unanimously.

The second complaint, filed by Harold Huber, of Mt. Juliet, named Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, county attorney Mike Jennings, 17 county commissioners and Jan Jewell, who works in Jennings’ office.

“It names a number of people who, if the facts alleged are true, it appears that state laws may in fact have been broken,” said Bush.

Committee member Eugene Murray moved to dismiss the complaint.

“I served in law enforcement for a number of years, as most of you guys know,” Murray said. “To prosecute a case, there must be some intent, intent to do harm, intent to steal, some intent to do something to that effect.

“In these documents there is intent alleged, but there is no intent specified.”

After much discussion of the 24-page complaint, which The Democrat was not granted a copy despite the state’s open records law defining it as a public document, a motion was made to send the complaint to District Attorney Tommy Thompson for review. 

The motion was approved on a 3-2 vote. Murray and committee member Earl Ray each voted no while Bush, committee member Clint Thomas and committee member Nathan Clariday each voted yes. 

The complaint was forwarded to Thompson’s office.

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