A restriction on members of Warren County’s Financial Management Committee to prevent favoritism is under consideration for removal.
The committee was formed after the county adopted the 81 ACT in 2011. The move combined the financial activities of Warren County government, Warren County School System, and Warren County Highway Department.
The committee includes four appointed members and three standing members. The four are appointed by the County Commission, while standing members are county executive, road superintendent, and director of schools.
Per policy set down at that time, appointed members could not have immediate family members or in-laws working in county government, the school system or highway department in an effort to prevent nepotism. Standing members were excluded due to those individuals being state mandated to sit on the committee.
County Executive Jimmy Haley, chair of the committee, says the state doesn’t require it for appointed members either and legal counsel is recommending it be removed.
“In our Financial Management policy, we have included a nepotism clause for appointed members,” said Haley.
“This is most definitely not something that can be put in the Financial Management policy. We can do it for the finance office or any individual office, but not with Financial Management. We can’t put conditions on anybody appointed to this as far as nepotism is concerned. The county attorney recommended we exclude that language,” Haley continued.
Per the policy, any person appointed to serve as a member of the Financial Management Committee may not have any member of his or her immediate family employed by Warren County. Immediate family member is defined as a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, sibling, grandparent, stepchild, stepparent, stepbrother, stepsister, parents in-law, son in-law, daughter in-law, brother in-law, or sister in-law.
“This is what the county created but it’s not in Tennessee Code Annotated,” said Haley. “Tennessee Code Annotated said there is no reason for that to be in there. We created the exclusivity, not the state.”
Committee members unanimously approved a recommendation to the full Warren County Commission that the nepotism clause placed on Financial Management Committee members be removed. The county’s nepotism policy within its departments will remain unchanged.