Embattled Davidson County Clerk John Arriola has enlisted the legal services of Nashville-based veteran attorney George Barrett.
Arriola is under pressure following a recent NewsChannel 5 report that revealed that, among other indiscretions, Arriola charged a $40 fee to couples for whom he conducted marriages and used $33,000 in government money to purchase a sport utility vehicle.
Reached Tuesday, Arriola declined comment, deferring to Barrett.
Barrett, the founding partner of Barrett Johnston LLC, said he is “just gathering the facts” at this point. He noted that his firm has been working for Arriola for about two weeks and is being joined by local attorney Bryan Lewis.
Barrett has made recent headlines for threatening to sue the Metro Planning Department had it not promptly redrawn the county’s 35 Metro Council district lines. The department later did so after pressure from various city entities. In addition, Barrett has represented Neighbors For Progress, a citizens group that wants the Tennessee State Fairgrounds redeveloped. He was not paid for his work.
On Monday, Metro Councilman Robert Duvall said he plans to file a nonbinding resolution that would call for the removal of Arriola from office. That follows announcements that District Attorney Torry Johnson has asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to look into Arriola’s activities. In addition, Mayor Karl Dean has asked Metro to audit the office.