The Metro Finance Department has temporarily stripped the purchasing power of the Davidson County Clerk’s Office, the latest in the fallout from damaging television reports about clerk John Arriola.
“I think we all felt, in light of the issues that have come up, that it’s in everyone’s interest to just rescind that temporarily until all these matters get resolved,” Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling told The City Paper.
Riebeling said the ban involves only small items under a certain amount that Arriola could purchase on his own without going through the Metro Purchasing Department.
“We’ll see how this all plays out,” Riebeling said when asked how long the restriction could last.
Arriola has been the subject of a series of NewsChannel5 television reports, prompting District Attorney Torry Johnson to ask the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to look into the matter. Mayor Karl Dean has asked for an audit of the clerk’s office.
Reports showed Arriola charged an unnecessary $40 to couples getting married at the clerk’s office. Another report showed taxpayer dollars paid for a $33,000 sports utility vehicle. A third report revealed Arriola’s former campaign treasurer is paid by the clerk’s office, yet his responsibilities aren’t defined.