East Ridge Council Members Allegedly Discuss Gobble Tapes At Private Session

Friday, February 15, 2013

Four of five East Ridge City Council members held a private session on Thursday with attorney Hal North and discussed tapes that are allegedly in the custody of former City Manager Tim Gobble.

Interim City Manager Eddie Phillips said, "It was an executive session. It was nothing secret. No big deal."

But he said he could not discuss the topic of the meeting or what transpired.

Mr. Phillips said the council is able to meet in closed-door sessions with the attorney "on matters that remotely could possibly result in litigation."

The council recently entered into an agreement with Mr. Gobble in which he got seven months of severance pay and the two sides agreed not to sue each other.

All the council members were present except for Larry Sewell.

The council has several times discussed in open sessions an alleged tape or tapes made by Mr. Gobble in which a council member allegedly threatened him with his job.

At one meeting, Councilman Sewell asked Mr. Gobble if a councilman had threatened his job, and he said one had.

Apparently, the tape or tapes will remain in the custody of Mr. Gobble unless East Ridge officials press to get them, which sources said was not likely. 

Mr. Gobble recently resigned under duress with three members of the council apparently ready to fire him.

The same three - Marc Gravitt, Jim Bethune and Denny Manning - ousted City Attorney John Anderson the prior month.

Frances Pope, a citizen activist, recently made a Freedom of Information request for the tapes. She was told they were not in the city's possession.

Ms. Pope said Councilman Sewell told her on the phone that he had listened to a tape involving the alleged threat. At a recent council meeting, Councilman Sewell said he had not listened to a tape.

Vice Mayor Bethune said he had asked Mr. Gobble directly about the tapes and he told him there were none. 

    


Police Blotter: Man Forgets To Pump Gas; Next Customer Gets It; Officers Deal With Chili Dispute

A clerk at the Kangaroo Express on Shallowford Road said a man paid for his gas, but he was busy talking on his cell phone and he left without pumping it. An alert follow-up customer got the first man's gas. The man who had paid returned a short time later. The clerk informed him that there was nothing she could do for him. The clerk said the man vowed to "send his boys ... (click for more)

Audio Of County Commission Meeting 9/17/14

Why So Much For A Rail Study?

From the things that make you go hmm department. Ok, so the feds are giving us $400k and the city is kicking in another $300k for a total of $700k to do a study on having in town rail service. Why so much for a study? Don't get me wrong, I'm totally down with Chattanooga having some passenger trains running around. I get that. It's awesome. We've needed it for a long time. I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I’m Certainly No Expert

Sometime on Monday night, after I had written a piece on getting swatted with a switch as a kid, I got an email from ESPN Canada asking if I would be a televised guest on “Off the Record,” the most watched daily sports show in Canada. The subject: corporal punishment in America. Are you kidding me? I am hardly an expert. All weekend my world of sports and its excitement was warped ... (click for more)

Lookouts and Minnesota Twins Sign Four Year Agreement

In a fast-paced, high stakes game of musical chairs with the three players from Major League Baseball - Minnesota, Arizona and Colorado - vying for one chair (Chattanooga Lookouts), the Twins from Minneapolis came up the winner Wednesday. Officials from the Minnesota ball club flew to Chattanooga Tuesday and signed contract papers for a four year player development ... (click for more)

Hixson Claims Top Spot In 6-AA With Win At Central

Hixson and Central entered their volleyball match on Tuesday tied for first place in District 6-AA as both were unbeaten in three matches. The Lady Wildcats have that top spot all to themselves after pinning a 3-1 defeat on the Lady Pounders in a match held at Brown Middle School's Carole Wilson Gymnasium. Hixson won the first set with ease by a score of 25-12 before winning ... (click for more)