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Former police officer looks into collection of funds

Published 10:15am Wednesday, November 21, 2012

BY ANDREW FAISON/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
andrew.faison@yahoo.com

FRANKLIN—A former Franklin police officer has taken legal steps to find out how much money the city has collected in restitution from primarily alcohol-related accidents that result in criminal charges.

Sgt. Ronnie McClenny, who retired in 2009, filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the city manager’s office. A FOIA is filed to view public records when a government entity refuses to share them.

McClenny, who continues to battle Police Chief Phil Hardison for not allowing him to buy his service weapon upon retirement, said he chose the FOIA route knowing the city would not release the records.

McClenny in 2008 researched the ordinance, for which City Council recognized him.

The ordinance allows the city to collect restitution of up to $1,000 from drivers who were drunk, driving recklessly, or driving without a license when they had an accident.

“I want to find out if anybody is collecting anything, or if it was just smoke and mirrors when City Council adopted the ordinance,” he said. “I bet you that not one cent has been collected in the past 4½ years. Look how many thousands of dollars that could have been collected. It might reduce the deficit some.”

“Taylor (Williams, city attorney) will be taking the lead on the investigation,” said City Manager Randy Martin, noting the city would honor McClenny’s request.

“We will comply with the law,” Martin said. “We will do our best to comply with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act request.”

City Treasurer Dinah Babb would not say how much was collected and referred questions to Williams.

Williams on Tuesday said he had not been able to begin research on the request.

 

  • SandMan

    I wonder what happened during yesterday’s court proceeding: McClenny vs Hardison, Round 10? Hopefully, TN will report it!

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  • franklin21

    Wow! Folks are sooo misinformed about how the government works! The court system issues the fines, certainly not the police chief or city attorney! Another example of McClenny wasting everyone’s time!

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  • SandMan

    Hold the phone rmcclenny! You mean to tell me Franklin’s Police Chief lives in Windsor? Does City Council know about this? And why does he need 9 new cars while losing officers left & right? When is the next court date? Good luck. Maybe hellcat can “move up” to one of your properties. It would be an improvement from the “glass house” she lives in now!

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  • rmcclenny

    The reason Mrs. Babb didn’t anwswer the question and refered questions to Mr. Williams is because this was probably the first time anyone has told her about these funds that were available. It would not be up to the Treasurer to collect these monies until the police chief and city attorney turned the information over to her for collection. The police department would be in charge of keeping up with the DUI convictions in General District Court on through to Circuit Court Appeals. Maybe if the Chief kept up with part of his job responsiblities the money would offset the cost of the gasoline he burns up on a daily basis going back and forth home to the other side of Windsor everyday. Or maybe, the money will help pay for those 9 new police cars the Chief is asking for in the budget. The chief should have plenty of cars at his disposal, since the police department is short 5 or 6 officers due to resignations. Nice to know, right at Christmas, when the crime rate will be at its highest.

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  • hellcat

    I guess being a slum lord isn’t keeping the ex-cop, who quit before he “retired,” busy.

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