Tygard Asks Arriola To Pay Back Wedding Fees - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NC5 Investigates: Davidson County Clerk

Tygard Asks Arriola To Pay Back Wedding Fees

Updated: Feb 13, 2012 09:25 PM

By Phil Williams
Chief Investigative Reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Davidson County Clerk John Arriola faces a new call that he pay back those fees he collected for performing weddings on taxpayer time.

That call comes from a veteran Metro Council member Charlie Tygard, and it carries a threat that Arriola could face another Council vote.

After the practice was first exposed by NewsChannel 5 Investigates, Arriola claimed that the $40 cash paid by couples for weddings in his office wasn't really a fee. Instead, he called it a gratuity or tip.

Now, Tygard wants to hold him to that.

"It would seem to me that the honorable thing to do would be to contact those couples ... offering to refund the $40 fee/gratuity to those who want a refund," Tygard said in an email sent Monday morning to Arriola. "This would truly make the $40 a gratuity."

If he doesn't, Tygard says he's got a resolution, asking the Council to vote on the question.

"I sent the offer this morning, but have not heard back from the county clerk -- don't know if he is in," Tygard said. "I wanted John to know that this was not a negotiable aspect for me, that it's the right and honorable thing to do."

If Arriola does not agree, that would put two resolutions before the Council next week -- this one calling for him to refund the money, the other by Councilman Robert Duvall calling on him to resign.

State auditors say Arriola may have pocketed almost $120,000 over five years.

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