Finance department strips Arriola of clerk's office purchasing power

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 11:39pm

The Metro Finance Department has temporarily stripped the purchasing power of the Davidson County Clerk’s Office, the latest in the fallout from damaging television reports about clerk John Arriola.

“I think we all felt, in light of the issues that have come up, that it’s in everyone’s interest to just rescind that temporarily until all these matters get resolved,” Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling told The City Paper.

Riebeling said the ban involves only small items under a certain amount that Arriola could purchase on his own without going through the Metro Purchasing Department.

“We’ll see how this all plays out,” Riebeling said when asked how long the restriction could last.

Arriola has been the subject of a series of NewsChannel5 television reports, prompting District Attorney Torry Johnson to ask the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to look into the matter. Mayor Karl Dean has asked for an audit of the clerk’s office.

Reports showed Arriola charged an unnecessary $40 to couples getting married at the clerk’s office. Another report showed taxpayer dollars paid for a $33,000 sports utility vehicle. A third report revealed Arriola’s former campaign treasurer is paid by the clerk’s office, yet his responsibilities aren’t defined. 

12 Comments on this post:

By: T-BONE on 7/20/11 at 5:21

A good place to START. Now time for arrest warrents!

By: Captain Nemo on 7/20/11 at 6:03

It looks like it will be only a matter of time.

By: govskeptic on 7/20/11 at 6:40

This type of waiver for these offices was an invitation for mischief right from the
start and should come as a surprise to most that it was ever allowed. While a good
thing to do now, it might need more discussion if these waivers should remain in
the future for any of the offices covered! Am I correct in thinking this office comes
up for election again in 2012?

By: treehugger7 on 7/20/11 at 6:41

Take away his car, impeach him and get the heck rid of him. While we're at it, take away most of the cars. Private businesses reimburse for mileage. Very few of them give clerical personnel their own cars. It needs to stop now!

By: Melstruck on 7/20/11 at 7:46

This control should have happened when he was wanting to buy the SUV! Maybe we need an audit of the Purchasing department and also the Finance department - they are supposed to be the ones controlling overspending like an SUV for a Court Clerk (why does he need a city owned car at all anyway?)! What other spending are departments getting away with that haven't been on the news?

By: Nitzche on 7/20/11 at 7:57

ok Arriola,time to go on tv and cry....

By: localboy on 7/20/11 at 8:08

"Take away his car, impeach him and get the heck rid of him. While we're at it, take away most of the cars. Private businesses reimburse for mileage. Very few of them give clerical personnel their own cars. It needs to stop now!"
Dude, you'll put all the major dealerships in town in a bind if you follow through on that!

By: 5oclocksomewhere on 7/20/11 at 9:12

It's about time someone put a halt to this guy. From his interview, he basically "spit" in the public's eye with his cocky above the law attitude. He takes the "public" out of public service. I admire what the television channel reporter caught him doing and reported. Way to go, we need more of this. Surely the people of Davidson County WILL NOT elect him again! Please pass the word about this joker.....

By: ratizbad on 7/20/11 at 9:27

Hey Arriola come spit on me you crook... and you get to meet knuckle sandwich
Fire That Creep

By: 5 Fingers on 7/20/11 at 11:12

Now if we could just strip Steine of ever being in office again:

By: ACitizen on 7/20/11 at 11:17

A Citizen
A lot of people seem to be confused about what our "clerks" do. They are not clerks in the sense that they sort and file papers. They are elected officials, as Vic Lineweaver and David Torrence were and John Ariolla and is. As elected officials, they have a mandated title of Juvenile Court Clerk, Criminal Court Clerk, and Davidson County Clerk, but the only thing they do (or at least, are supposed to do) is sit in their office, go to meetings and represent the function they are the Clerk of, and give general direction to their Chief Administrative Officer. The Clerk's Administrator is really running the show. Yes, the Clerks are ultimately responsible for the affairs of the particular office and function they represent, but they are not involved in the day-to-day activities of the office. That's why David Torrence could say "I have a well run organization that doesn't need my constant attention."
All of this said, these people are being paid a very nice, 6 figure salary with benefits by the taxpayers of Nashville and the least they can do is show up every day and not put cash gratuities in their own pockets.

By: dubex on 7/20/11 at 10:09

Rich Riebeling asked no questions about Arriola's car expenses in the Mayor's last round of budget hearings with the County Clerk. Will he discipline his own office for this lack of oversight?
Debt Consolidation