Arriola Says Workers Wrong to Block NC5 Investigation
Davidson County Clerk John Arriola
Chief Deputy Clerk Joey Workman shoves Phil Williams.
chief deputy clerk Joey Workman
By Phil Williams Chief Investigative Reporter
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Davidson County Clerk John Arriola said Friday that his employees overreacted when they forcibly blocked NewsChannel 5 from trying to investigate a tip about what was going on inside his office.
"I have no problem that you were here checking out a tip," Arriola said in an exclusive interview.
One of his employees, chief deputy clerk Joey Workman, got physical with a NewsChannel 5 Investigates team that went to Arriola's office on St. Patrick's Day to check out a tip about Metro employees playing slot machines - for money - in an employee break room.
Arriola now claims the novelty machines were set up by another employee, Kelly Farmer, without his knowledge -- and that Farmer was also wrong to do that.
Money for the payoffs, Arriola says, was provided by Farmer himself.
If things were really so innocent, why did they act like they had something to hide?
"They got too emotional and they reacted without really making contact and talking to you about the story," Arriola said. "They overreacted and really blew it out of proportion."
The clerk who shoved this reporter and the clerk who brought the machines into work have been both been suspended for two days without pay.