Election Comm Admin. Repays Money In Allegations

Posted at 5:04 PM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 21:14:01-05

A Metro Election Commission administrator has repaid $123 spent on a county credit for a questionable dinner purchased at an upscale steakhouse following a scandal that resulted in the board chairman resigning.

At a specially called Election Commission meeting on Friday, administrator Ken Wall told board members that he has repaid the money spent on a metro credit card to buy dinner for himself and former Chairman Ron Buchanan at Sperry's, a high-end restaurant in Nashville.

Buchanan was forced to resign last week after calling a television news reporter a "B---."  The resignation came the same day receipts surfaced showing he also spent more than $600 on a custom picture frame along with the dinner at Sperry's.

Board members also discussed putting new guidelines in places surrounding how money is spent by election commission members on county credit cards. The Metro City Council has temporarily suspended the commissions use of county credit cards until an audit of the entire department can be completed.

"Given the allegations that came to light recently about spending issues I think it is only appropriate that the election commission institute new policies, procedures , spending limits and stringent oversight. It's unfortunate we have to do that but it appears it's necessary," Secretary Tricia Herzfield said.

Board members also appointed Commissioner Jim Delanis as the new board chairman.

On Friday the commission also approved a special election to be held during the August 4th general election in order to fill the seat of former Metro City Councilman Loniel Greene. Greene was forced to resign last month following a domestic assault scandal.