Scott County Mayor Dale Perdue has taken action to bring the county into good standing with the State of Tennessee.
An audit report released by the Tennessee Comptroller’s office on December 12, 2017 found Commissioner Trent Cross serving also as a compensated medical examiner. These findings were in violation of a state statute and contrary to an attorney general’s opinion. The Comptroller’s office left resolution of the issue in the hands of Perdue and the Scott County Commission with an anticipated resolve date of Jan 30, 2018.
Trent Cross was appointed to the Medical Examiner position in February 2015 after the lack of interest from other local physicians left the count in dire straights. The committee approved Perdue to appoint Cross with the stipulation there would be no compensation for the position to prevent a conflict of interest from occurring. At some point in 2016, prior to June 30 and submission of the county budget, Cross’s funds were reinstated.
On December 12, during a
the previous interview with the Scott County News, Perdue explained he had been out on medical leave during the time Cross’s funds were reinstated to him, and that he had been unaware of the issue until recently. Perdue stated his concern for the violation and vowed to repair the issue with steadfastness.
During that same interview, Perdue stated, “I am here to do the right thing for the people. Something will be resolved by January 30, 2018.“
During the intergovernmental committee meeting of the commissioners on January 2, 2018, Perdue read aloud a resolution to remove Cross as the medical examiner and presented a copy to each commissioner present. All commissioners were in attendance except Cross.
Perdue’s recommendation for removal has left the trying situation in the hands of the committee. January 16 will mark the date for action as the commissioners gather together for a vote during their regularly scheduled meeting. The call for action has a number of commissioners digging for answers. Commissioner June Jeffers wants to be certain to get the facts in order prior to making her decision.
“Right now I’ve got to get some more information on this,” Jeffers stated. “We didn’t know anything about this. It was just handed to us, and I’ve got to do a little more research.”
Jeffers isn’t the only member up in the air. Commissioner Sam Lyles believes there are other options for removing Cross from his position as the examiner. With only eight months prior to the election of all 14 commissioners, there is a potential for Cross to resign from the commission leaving no conflict of interest.
“I haven’t made up my mind on the vote,” Lyles said. “There are other options on the table. If he(Cross) resigns there is no conflict of interest, and I don’t personally have a problem with him keeping the position. It’s a tough situation. We will have to wait and see what happens, but either way, we have to vote.”