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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ouster Complaint filed against City Council members Harris and Wyatt and marketing director Billy Loggins

A Cumberland County man has filed a complaint with the city that accuses two Crossville city council members and a city employee of “wrongful and unethical actions.”  These are the same two council members who survived an attempt to have them recalled last year. 

This is not the first time Mr. Loggins city communications have made headlines.  Loggins was reprimanded last year following the release of instant messages he had with the secretary at he Parks and Recreation department that came out following a personnel board complaint filed by Parks and Recreation director Tammie French.  The recreation department secretary was fired.

The complainant Steve Frank calls the paper a “written complaint for ouster investigation.” Frank accuses council members Pamala Harris and Danny Wyatt along with Crossville marketing manager Billy Loggins as being “in direct violation of the city charter” and “serious breach of their offices.” In addition to the ouster investigation, Mr. Frank is seeking an administrative termination of Mr. Loggins.
Crossville Marketing Director
Billy Loggins

City Council member Pamala Harris

City council member Danny Wyatt

After the city received the complaint it was forwarded on to city attorney Will Ridley who acts as the ethics officer for the city.

Included in the allegations are that Ms. Harris and Mr. Wyatt are communicating via Mr. Loggins in violation of the open meetings law by using Mr. Loggins as go between. Frank's complaint includes numerous pages of emails as examples of the communication that came from Mr. Loggins computer and are therefore public record.  Mr. Loggins and Ms. Harris have a personal relationship that was discussed by Ms. Harris in a council meeting last year. 

One series of emails is over a proposed meeting with Ficosa at the time they were planning to move their operation to Cookeville. Loggins was trying to set up a meeting but was rebuffed by Ficosa.

Loggins sent his exchange with Ficosa to Harris

From: Billy Loggins []
Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 6:26 AM
To: Pamala Harris
Subject: FW: Ficosa America
Do not forward
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 6:50 PM
Subject: Re: Ficosa America
Billy Given the most recent initiative by the Crossville group it is inappropriate for me to schedule a meeting at this time. Best regards.....Fred
Sent from my iPhone On Apr 21, 2015, at 8:27 AM, FREDERICK JAMES ZICARD wrote: I will propose a day next week as soon as j can
Sent from my iPhone On Apr 20, 2015, at 4:02 PM, wrote: Please schedule to meet with us again asap just let me know what works for your schedule.

Harris responded she had tried to get in contact with Wyatt with no luck.

From: Pamala Harris []
Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 8:26 AM
To: Billy Loggins
Subject: RE: Ficosa America
I called Danny, but no answer or call back. Have you talked to him yet?
Pamala Harris
93 Hwy. 70 East, Suite 1
Crossville, TN 38555
931-484-4911 office 931-484-6787 fax

Loggins responded to Harris that he had talked to Wyatt and Harris emailed back “What did he say?” Loggins emailed for Harris to call him and Harris responded “As soon as I can.”

Jim Young Reporter 
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In another series of emails from January 2015, Loggins has written a welcome letter on behalf of Crossville Mayor James Mayberry that was for the city's annual sustainability fair. Loggins sends the draft to Ms. Harris asking “Does this sound better for 5th grade students?”

Harris responds, “I made a couple of grammatical corrections, but super!”

According the the complaint submitted by Frank, he had checked with Mayor Mayberry who said he knew nothing of the letter written in his name.

Frank accuses Loggins and Harris of undermining Mayor Mayberry's efforts to get sponsors for the golf tournament's sponsored by the city to help defray the costs. In an email exchange Loggins suggests to Harris that perhaps the city could “get a sponsor for the salt we have been using on the streets??” Ms. Harris responds by emailing back, “Or maybe a sponsor for all the copy paper we print out reports on for Pete!!!!!” Pete would be former city councilman Pete Souza.

Loggins also had emails with a representative of PGA, Matt Phipps and Fairfield Glade's golf director Jeff Houston about golf sponsorship funding being in question in 2016. Loggins was suggesting that representatives from the PGA attend the meeting to lobby the council in favor of the funding but also advised them to “Please keep my name out of it.”

Additional emails cited by Mr. Frank include email communications between Loggins and Cody Howell, a representative of the Buxton Company what had done some consulting with the city and was seeking the contract to help the city with a project of recruiting retail and restaurants to the city. The Buxton representative asked if Loggins was an “advocate in Buxton's favor?” Loggins responded that the fact that the Chamber was asking the Buxton representative to speak to the Leadership Cumberland Program while pushing for another firm to work with the city was “very strange.” Loggins added that he would not email his thoughts, “but call me sometime.” The string of emails was then sent to Ms. Harris and described by Mr. Loggins as “unreal to say the least.”

Additional emails shown in the complaint by Frank appear to show Mr. Loggins was using his city computer to handle his private business of golf equipment sales.  

It is unclear how the city will handle the complaint filed by Mr. Frank. He complains that any council member would get to vote on the sanctions, if any, on their own actions under the city's charter.

At this point, the matter seems to be in the hands of the city attorney. 

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