County clerk employees suspended after slot machine stunt

Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 6:35pm

Metro police detectives completed their investigation into token machines at the Davidson County Clerk’s office and determined Metro employees weren’t gambling.

“In this case employees did not risk anything of value to play the machines, so that does not constitute gambling,” police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford said. “We do not anticipate any charges.

In an email to The City Paper, County Clerk John Arriola wrote he had conducted his own investigation into the St. Patrick’s Day incident.

Arriola wrote: “To create a good work environment that results in good service for taxpayers, some members of my staff pushed the envelope that created the appearance of inappropriate activity. I approved St. Patrick decorations at our office, but I did not approve the game and didn't know about it until the afternoon of St. Patrick's Day.”

As a result of his investigation, Arriola suspended two of his employees, Deputy Clerk Joey Workman and Kelly Farmer, without pay.

Farmer brought the machines into the workplace and gave employees a total of $25 of his personal money.

Television cameras caught Workman pushing WTVF-Channel 5 reporter Phil Williams out of the break room where the machines were.

Arriola wrote that while everything was technically on the up and up, it should not have happened. He said he took full responsibility.

Early Thursday, Metro police's Specialized Investigation Division opened a preliminary investigation into whether Metro employees used tokens to play games resembling slot machines at work. The investigation followed a WTVF-Channel 5 report Wednesday night.

Mumford said the investigation was to determine whether employees stood to lose money for the games — gambling — or if employees offered to pay out money to other employees for certain outcomes on the machines.

17 Comments on this post:

By: house_of_pain on 3/18/10 at 5:14

Nothing to see here...move along...

By: teeceeum on 3/18/10 at 6:36

Another example of channel 5 trying to make news instead of reporting on it.

By: TN2010 on 3/18/10 at 7:58

If Arriola claims to take "full responsibility," then he should also be suspended without pay.

By: DustyU on 3/18/10 at 8:14

Workman should be charged with assault.
Try pushing a bureaucrat and see if you don't end up in jail

By: cmarcus45 on 3/18/10 at 9:48

Yeah, Phil Williams went too far and was trying too hard to make something out of nothing here. The kicker was when Williams said on the news that he became sore a couple of hours after the ordeal. Give me a break.

By: yazoo on 3/19/10 at 6:52

Gawd, how dumb are you people? Every one of the involved people are on your payroll since you are taxpayers. THIS is what they do while on the job? With MY money?

If the county clerk does slot machines on such a minimal holiday, what goes on there for the bigger holidays? Does he expense a visit from the Rockettes for xmas?

Hey Teabaggers! Where's the outrage?

By: brandt on 3/19/10 at 6:53

Are you kidding me! You believe Arriola didn't know until the afternoon. Hello! And an employee brings in Slot Machines and gives free money away. Hello! And on top of that Arriola thinks that by suspending these two arrogant individuals, that the Metro Vice & TBI won't do anything. Hello! Arriola, Workman and his side kick should all be fired and brought up on charges. If this happened in anyones business beyond Metro's the machines would have been confiscated and jail time. Instead they disappear.

If Metro Vice does it's job, this is not end of story.

By: localboy on 3/19/10 at 8:08

If Metro Vice uses common sense, resources will be devoted towards a real crime.

By: mrspris on 3/19/10 at 8:29

Republicans at work.

By: sidneyames on 3/19/10 at 8:31

By: yazoo on 3/19/10 at 7:52
Gawd, how dumb are you people? Every one of the involved people are on your payroll since you are taxpayers. THIS is what they do while on the job? With MY money?

If the county clerk does slot machines on such a minimal holiday, what goes on there for the bigger holidays? Does he expense a visit from the Rockettes for xmas?

Hey Teabaggers! Where's the outrage?

Well Yazoo, do you know ALL the facts? Maybe those people were on a lunch break. And I bet YOU are lilly white pure in the work ethics department.

TEST: Will the person or persons who never "dinked around and wasted company time" please stand up? NO ONE IS STANDING, Yazoo! Everyone has wasted company time. Believe me. Everyone.

By: idgaf on 3/19/10 at 9:32

There is no proof that it was a token machine. The machine was removed before the cops got there.

The story as is don't pass the laugh test.

What brought williams there in the first place? He heard about it yesterday and ran right over there with a camera crew? They assaulted him why? So he didn't see the "token machine"?

Oh btw where is the "perp" pictures ? lol

By: GUARDIAN on 3/19/10 at 4:11

Only the moronic inbred minds of progressives and their media comrades could make a mountain out of a single grain of sand. "THE GAME" (toy bank) was in the break room and "THE GAME" was looked at by LEO. COMRADE WILLIAMS the girly man was where the public wasn't allowed and should of been charged with trust passing. The employees were punished because of political correctness not for anything wrong. John Arriola shame on you for not standing up for Joey Workman and Kelly Farmer because they did nothing wrong. Perhaps everyone wearing green should of been suspended for wearing the color of a fake as well as false environment movement.

By: shef2 on 3/19/10 at 5:45

igdaf: The lady Phil Williams spoke with DID say it was a "token" machine, and when she turned those in, she would get about $5.She also revealed that she WAS "on the clock" - So much for that...
GUARDIAN: Of course Joey Workman DID do "something wrong"-! He has no right to push, grab, & shove Mr. Williams, or anyone else.

By: popi on 3/19/10 at 11:04

What happened to the post by John Galt? Where is Ayn Rand when you need her? Did Atlas shrug? So much ado about nothing. Why am I posting this?????

By: jsmith.hkcs on 5/4/10 at 6:59

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By: 1stukgent on 5/12/10 at 3:19

More and more of the gambling public are turning their backs on online casinos to try and ply their trade at Online Bingo. Obviously, online casinos are now providing their own form of a bingo buzz but it will take time before they attract the type of numbers that are associated with the bingo big boys of the gambling sector.

By: T-BONE on 7/11/11 at 11:07

ARRIOLA is a NARCISSISTIC PATHOLOGICAL LIAR and a CRIMINAL to boot! Nothing is ever his fault and he will sell out anyone to save his "sorry" ASS!