Cookeville calls special session on CRMC hiring of Mayor

By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ

COOKEVILLE – A special called session of the Cookeville City Council will be held on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. to discuss the hiring of Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton as the new chief strategy officer of the city owned Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC). 

During Thursday’s city council meeting, Councilman Dr. Chuck Womack asked council members to consider hiring outside legal counsel to assist the city council in “investigating the legality and appearance of impropriety of the mayor being hired as a higher level employee at CRMC.” 

The council voted 3-2 to postpone further discussion of the issue to the Feb. 18 council meeting. Vice-mayor Lauren Wheaton, Councilman Eric Walker and Shelton voted to delay the request, while Womack and Councilman Mark Miller voted against the delay. 

Friday afternoon, a notice of special session was posted on the Cookeville website with the only item of business being “a request that the city manager retain outside legal council to assist members of the City Council in investigating the legality and or appearance of impropriety of the Mayor being hired as a high-level employee with the city owned Cookeville Regional Medical Center.”

The reason for the special meeting, according to City Manager James Mills, is that one of the council members is going to be absent from the next regular meeting and that member requested a special meeting.

The meeting will be conducted via electronic means and may be accessed by calling 1-301-715-8592 & entering meeting ID 3086713762.  

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