Appeals Court upholds Stamey verdict, rules Council member can continue in dual roles

ET Stamey, Jr. Clinton City Council Member and Athletic Director for the Clinton Blaze the Clinton City School’s Athletics team.

This week, the Tennessee Court of Appeals upheld a summary judgement in
the lawsuit filed by Ron Young against Clinton City Councilman ET Stamey
challenging the results of the November 2018 election.

Young’s lawsuit, filed in November of 2018–after the election had been held–alleged that because Stamey, who is employed as the Athletic Director for the Clinton City school system, was ineligible to serve on the Council because the city charter stipulates that city employees cannot serve on the City Council due to potential conflicts of interest. Stamey has been on the City Council since 2010 and was hired by the schools as an “at-will” employee in 2017.

Stamey argued that because the city school system approves and manages its own budget, without the need for Council approval, that he is in fact, not an employee of the city of Clinton.

After hearing oral arguments from both sides and reviewing the material
submitted by the attorneys in the case, Chancellor Nichole Cantrell in April of
2019 ruled that, based upon statutes and case law that while the city’s
legislative body may have established the school system, it is run
autonomously and separately from the rest of the city government–complete
with its own legislative body (the Board of Education) and director.

With that, Chancellor Cantrell ruled in favor of Stamey, dismissing Young’s
claim against not only the Councilman, but also his claim against the
Anderson County Election Commission, as the summary judgement granted
last year covered all aspects of the complaint. The suit had also asked the
court to issue an order to permanently prevent the Election Commission
from approving any ballot for the city of Clinton that includes municipal
employees.

The Appeals Court also rejected Young’s assertion that the Election
Commission should have waited to certify the results of the election until the
matter was decided in the courts, with Chief Judge D. Michael Swiney
writing, “Our General Assembly has not seen fit to bestow upon election
commissions the discretion to refrain from certifying election winners on the
basis of tardy challenges in the candidate’s qualifications.” The ruling also
states that “this is true irrespective of when—after the election the
Commission received notice of a potential issue with Stamey’s
qualifications.”

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 25, Chandler 21, and Naomi 11. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 9 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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