Armed with a scathing new report from the state comptroller’s office, Metro Councilman Robert Duvall has reignited his call for the resignation of beleaguered Davidson County Court Clerk John Arriola.
“The comptroller’s report speaks for itself,” Duvall said. “We now have specific evidence that what we suspected back in August to be correct. Now we need to move on it.”
Duvall, the conservative Antioch-area councilman, on Friday filed a resolution that, if approved, would put that council on record as supporting Arriola’s resignation. The legislation carries no direct policy effect but would make a statement regardless.
Duvall introduced the same resolution over the summer following a WTVF-Channel 5 report that alleged Arriola charged $40 fees to couples he married, pocketing the revenue. In August, Duvall withdrew the resolution, deferring to an ongoing state investigation into Arriola’s wedding handlings.
On Wednesday, the report’s findings were made public. An audit from the state comptroller, working in conjunction with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, found Arriola collected more than $119,000 in wedding fees over the past five years.
Duvall believes that is ample evidence to warrant Arriola’s resignation from the office he’s been elected to twice.
“If you listen to the emails that we’re already starting to get from the citizens,” Duvall said, “I think there’s absolutely going to be a tremendous [number] of citizenry demanding that he go.”
Arriola, in a statement delivered late Thursday, said his office has already made recommendations outlined in the comptroller’s report and a separate Metro audit. Arriola, however, did not address the comptroller’s findings regarding the wedding fees.
Duvall’s resolution will go before the council on Feb. 7.