Here is your Cleveland, Tenn. | Bradley County, Tenn. news on mymix1041.com, sponsored by Toyota of Cleveland:
A Tennessee state comptroller’s report finds a Bradley County Commissioner violated the state conflict of interest statute by indirectly benefiting from a county contract.
Bradley County Commissioner Erica Davis is the owner of Tristar Trucking.
According to the comptroller’s audit, Davis indirectly benefitted from a county contract to demolish county buildings, when the contractors who commission approved for the project subcontracted with her company.
Bradley county entered a contract with Berrywood Landscaping LLC on May 18th, 2020 for the demolition work of 3 county buildings at Lake Forest Middle School. Berrywood was acknowledged as the low bidder for this project at $45,000.
After the contract was approved by county commissioners, Berrywood Landscaping subcontracted with Tristar Trucking company, which is owned by county commissioner Erica Davis.
Tristar trucking company received more than half of the contract, a total of $23,422.50 for their hauling service.
The state says Davis indirectly benefitted from the county contract and violated a conflict of interest statute.
The state audit says, “county officials should review these payments and resolve the conflict of interest.”
Erica Davis gave the following response to Mix 104-1 News: “Thank you for the opportunity to respond.
I have very spotty service where I am. I am on a spring break trip with my family, and not available for a zoom or phone interview.
The response I submitted to the audit really covers my side of the story. If you read the statute, doing the work as a subcontractor was not in and of itself wrong. It was the fact that I didn’t disclose my company’s involvement in the work performed. At the time of my vote, I had not been contacted to do any work, and therefore a conflict did not exist. In hindsight, a simple disclosure statement after the fact would have been sufficient, but another vote was never taken on the issue for it to come up.”
Tennessee state Rep. Robin Smith, R-Hixson, resigned Monday and has reached a plea agreement in a federal wire fraud investigation of a political consulting firm tied to former state House Speaker Glen Casada, who remains a House member, and Casada’s former chief of staff, Cade Cothren.
Smith, 58, a former Tennessee Republican Party chair first elected to the state House in 2018, faces one count of honest services wire fraud, according to a filing in U.S. District Court in Nashville. It carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment with no minimum sentences and fines not to exceed $250,000.
Honest services wire fraud is defined in U.S. law as “a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.”
In news today…
The Bradley County Commission met on Monday covering several items of business. A resolution was approved authorizing the Mayor to purchase land at 180 1st Street from ROA Chattanooga and Fillauer Family Partnership for $58,000. This land is currently used by the county. The billboard on the property will remain under the control of ROA Chattanooga. A resolution was also passed authorizing the Mayor to enter into a one-year agreement with New Terra Compost LLC for installation of a compost kiosk at the Farmer’s Market North. Residents will be able to bring food scraps and residuals from food prep to the compost collection site.
Also in news today…
Buddy’s Bar-B-Q was honored for its 50th Anniversary Monday at the state Capital, with CEO Mark Lemoncelli and Representative Dan Howell.