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Haley's hiring authority challenged
Haley, Jimmy.jpg

Warren County Executive Jimmy Haley may not have sole authority to hire department heads. 

The county’s Legislative Committee met to continue its review of county policy.

Under the category of Elections and Appointments taken from 2002 guidelines, the county executive has the authority to hire department heads. However, those appointments must be confirmed by the county legislative body.

Wording was taken from Tennessee Code Annotated.

TCA states the county mayor shall appoint members of county boards and commissions and county department heads. Such appointees shall be subject to confirmation by the county legislative body. In so doing, the legislative body may express its views fully and freely and shall vote for or against confirmation. 

The legislative body shall not seek or interview such prospective employees prior to their appointment by the county mayor.

Haley has hired two department directors in the past year without seeking confirmation.

“We need to follow TCA code because that will trump anything,” said Commissioner Joseph Stotts during the meeting on Monday.

Commissioner Carl D. Bouldin added, “You can’t change TCA with your local laws. Nothing changes but the confirmation process.” 

Commissioner Carlene Brown voiced a desire to seek the opinion of Charles Curtiss, executive director of the Tennessee County Commission Association. 

“That’s not been done in the past but I’m not 100 percent sure that it has to be done that way,” said Brown. “I think that’s a question for Mr. Curtiss.”

Curtiss will be contacted. If it is determined that County Commission approval was required for Haley’s two appointments, confirmation can be addressed during a monthly session.