published Friday, February 18th, 2011

Templeton's code violation not egregious, officials say


by Cliff Hightower

WHAT'S NEXT

The City Council will discuss City Attorney Mike McMahan's report in its regularly scheduled committee meetings at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

DOCUMENTS

PDF: Read a copy of the full report by City Attorney Mike McMahan

Chattanooga Citywide Services Director Jimmy Templeton was wrong not to disclose that some of his family worked for a business that had a city contract, according to an investigation report.

Though the omissions technically violate the city code, none are "egregious," City Attorney Mike McMahan wrote.

"I found no evidence that any action or inaction had harmed the city," McMahan wrote in a memorandum to the City Council.

Lee Davis, attorney for Templeton, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

McMahan sent the council a 10-page letter Thursday detailing his office's investigation of Templeton. An audit report released three months ago stated that Templeton was directly involved in the bidding of contracts with Environmental Materials LLC, Chattanooga Transfer LLC and City Disposal LLC. All three businesses have contracts with the city.

The report stated three of Templeton's family worked for the companies, which are all owned by Chattanooga businessman Ray Marler.

Environmental Materials supplies dirt to the city-owned landfill on Birchwood Pike. Chattanooga Transfer LLC hauls city trash from a transfer station to the landfill and City Disposal picks up large and small city garbage containers.

McMahan's report found only one instance where Templeton was involved directly in a contract. Templeton's role was only to "recommend," and McMahan said there were checks and balances to ensure there would be no improper bidding.

The Department of Public Works is arranging for other supervisors within the department to handle any of those contracts and Templeton will have no involvement, McMahan said.

Council Chairman Manny Rico said the report will be discussed Tuesday during committee meetings, but Rico said he did not think there would be much discussion.

He said he agreed with McMahan that no serious harm occurred.

"He didn't do anything real bad," Rico said.

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