In an email addressed to the interim city manager, city attorney and city clerk, councilman Pete Souza calls requests advice concerning possible liability against the city for a number of recent actions that he says are coordinated by councilman Jesse Kerley.
Councilman Pete Souza
Background, facts on the morning of Sept 30, 2016 in chronological order
(1) Councilman Kerley, Interim City Manager Hill, Jerry Kerley Water Treatment Manager
(Department head), and City Fixed Base Operator ( Crossville Aero, Sole Proprietorship ), and
Airport Manager Chris Bennett are having breakfast together at Edgewood Restaurant
approximately between 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM on this date. (Source multiple
witnesses) Now is the time to dispute this if any one cares to or if I am in error.
(2) At about 8:45 AM Jerry Kerley and Chris Bennett enter the Airport. Mr Bennett
gos to the vicinity of the Storage area Hanger and returns with a airport employee
William Harwell wherein Jerry Kerley and he leaves together going East on hwy 70
towards town and the site of reported stolen property. Source airport security video.
(3) Jerry Kerley and a unidentified person is caught on video with a eye witness
scaling the roof of a building about fifteen minutes later. Source citizen video.
(4) Jerry Kerley and person identified as William Harwell airport employee return
and go through the secondary security gate that is left open to the vicinity of our
new Million dollar hanger ( that is cost of construction and engineering ), and then
leaves. Source airport security camera.
(5) On 30 September Jerry Kerley's time card signed by Joe Kerley reflects he
was on city time (source time card). While I am sure Jerry Kerley puts a lot
of time in for the city and does a admiral job in the treatment facilities that
has no bearing that he was on city time at the time of the thefts.
(6) The stolen property was recovered at the city airport by the District Attorneys
Office the following Monday.
Now Mr Ridley I am going to haul this right out in the open and by open I
mean transparent open. I come to think of the events of Septmber 30 th
as BLACK SEPTEMBER for the city of Crossville. The events of this date
culminates in a long list of events that can be argued the city of Crossvile through
the entities of its municipal functions have participated through city officials
to cause harm to a citizen of our community.
Where am I going with this ? I am going to ask you for a closed executive
section for your recommendations to council. Why ? Because there is no
doubt the events since Mr Rutherford's dismissal has spiraled out of control.
The black train is coming down the path and all the rhetoric in the world
and denials is not going to get the city out of the mess it is in. When the
new council comes aboard they are going to want answers. I believe when
the EEOC investigation on the city and members of the officials takes place
there will be a appreciation for accountability. I also believe there is going
to be a series of law suits against the city and officials of the city.
Some of the events that have taken place would be funny if they were not
so serious. It's as though people have set around and decided what is the
most stupid thing we can do today, or let's get on a video and audition
for the nations dumbest criminal. But what has really transpired is persons
involved have discredited the city, left the city liable, and has brought in
local law enforcement and judicial entities to deal with stupid. A local
attorney Earl Patton best said what we have here on a sign, "You can not
fix stupid but you can document it " or words to that effect. Unfortunately
what we have here is the city officials doing or as the case might be allowing
this to go on for far to long (Complacent).
On June 1st I sent a letter to council outlining Councilman Kerley being
out of control, and targeting people. On June 2nd the assault took place and no
that issue is not over. Since then we have had councilman Kerley order people
arrested, he has established a pattern. This pattern has transpired with
arguably the knowledge of the council. Lies, shear fabrication, conspiracy
theory, really, tell that to a civil jury because boys and girls it's coming and
the cost to the tax payers is going to be the subject for years.
Let's talk about the pattern; (1) Councilman Kerley's Complaint about the fliers
he is acting on stems allegedly from complaints of businessmen (never established). He
Pushed a misdemeanor complaint to the limit, using a zealous personal motive that
transpired a series of events that are still being impacted on the city. No
one had ever been cited but he pursued this going directly to the chief and
some of his officers. To this day like violations are going on with no enforcement.
Constitutionally where is that equitable under the law (does the council not
remember that part of their oath required them to uphold the constitution ).
Councilman Kerley used the law enforcement entity of the city for his own agenda.
The judicial entity comes into play when a fine of $1,500 dollars is levied for
one violation. That will be determined by Judge Jonathan Young. If the
appeal falls in favor Randy Blankenship or the appeal of the issues with the
restraining order are not in the favor of the city judge the city may have issues. Does
any one on council,think that a noted constitutional lawyer came up out
of Nashville because he didn't have something to do. Article VIII of the
constitution "excessive fines imposed", germane.
Then we have councilman Kerley getting involved with Chief Shoap over Judge
Ivy Gardners restraining order. That was none of Councilman Kerley's business.
Protection was the chiefs responsibility, extenuating legal business is the city attorneys.
Then Councilman Kerley verbally assaults Chief Shoap on his duties in
reference to the restraining order on June 3rd in front of a city employee and
the city manager who allows this to happen. Now you have the judicial
and chief city administrator involved, yet another city entity. The legislative
side, the law enforcement side, the judicial side, and the city administrator
all involved in one misdemeanor.
We don't want to stop there lets let Councilman Kerley continue with his reckless
disregard and continue to pursue his avenging personal agenda taking with him
collateral damage to the city and other city employees. Councilman Kerley then
interferes with a investigation on Mr Blankenship's mother a elderly woman on
oxygen and wants her arrested for "filing a false police report you all have seen
the correspondence. Why? To get to Mr Blankenship.
Midnight raids on their house occurs. ?????
Councilman Kerley with witnesses tells the Chief to arrest Mr Blankenship at a council
meeting because he has insurance and registration violations. Then he changes that to
Tell Shoap to have sheriff deputies arrest Mr Blankenship when he leaves city hall. Really like
the chief has operational control over sheriff deputies. Why not tell the sheriff what to
do, he tells the city police what to do or tries. (Any one want to guess why the chief left )
All this time Councilman Kerley's buddy the city manager Steve Hill is allowing this.
Prove it, I will let the Federal Investigator prove it and the Mr Blankenship's attorney.
If my memory is correct Rod Shoap turned into the DA's office a statement earlier on all
of this. By the way the vehicle was properly registered and insured.
Now we come to BLACK SEPTEMBER. Question how is it Jerry Kerley drives right into
the airport and picks up Mr Harwell escorted by Chris Bennett ? Maybe it was
just a coincidence. Was the Breakfast just another of the friends and family plan?
When did the realization of the raid on Mr Blankenship occur? Or did we now
move to the part where the city airport and contract employees were used to
facilitate a theft on councilman Kerley political and personal enemy. Now we
have involved the entity of the city airport. Well criminal acts have to be proven
beyond a reasonable doubt, civil just needs a preponderance of evidence. What
is BLACK SEPTEMBER going to cost the tax payers?
Allegations of theft of Mr Kerley's signs, really. He got the city police, the sheriffs
office, the DAs office all running around for what turned out to be not even his signs.
Well he named all of his political enemies including me, Jim Young, Rod Shoap
as suspects detective Jessie Luke Kerley also named Blankenship. Councilman
Kerley is out of control because once again his wild reckless disregard continued
To target Mr Blankenship expanding his attempt to use law enforcement and the
DA's office to cause harm.
Now we go,to Mr Hill who is enabling his friend Jessie Kerley and Jerry Kerley
to fall under the protection of the city managers office. Jerry Kerley
claims he is under a hostile environment. Would that be because the city
employees see that city conduct standards,are enforcement differently
for Mr Hills buddy? Really he participates in stalking and a assault. Jerry
Kerley tells the Mayor he's going to whip Souza over Blankenship's signs.
Jerry Kerley is charged with stealing during working hours and takes stolen
property to city property. Any employee but a Kerley would have been
suspended? The number one question I get asked by employees is how
come Jerry Kerley can get away with this and he wonders why other workers are
resentful. Double standards will do that. Truth is Mr Hill is Jesse Kerley's agent
that was proven when he brought the Kerley's down to the IT department
on 3 June and interfered with a police investigation and allowed Jesse Kerley
to bully Rod Shoap! The city manager had no business interfering with a
police investigation period. At that point the city manager should have
been suspended. Now the question is the city manager protected as well.
I think I'll let the federal investigator determine that.
So now I am asking for Executive Session to determine Crossville's Potential
liability for Councilman Kerley's actions. Also I want you to please
advise the council on the roles and responsibility of the city manager and
what actions is the city manager supposed to do relative and specifically
On these theft charges and the threat on me that was told to the mayor.
Also I would like you to,advise the council about the non compliance
to the open records act I will the city clerk discuss that with you.
Sally please give a copy to each council member, the chief of police,
the Sheriff, and the DA