Did Mayor Ed Mitchell and Director of Schools Rob Britt break State election laws?

Jim Folts asks some hard hitting, important questions about meetings that took place at each Blount County School before the recent May 6th primary election.  The Chairman of the Education Committee, Commissioner Ron French, said that some Commissioners were present at the meetings of the Schools in their districts, if they were called.  Jim Folts serves on the Education Committee, yet he was not invited to these meetings.

Election Laws that may have been broken: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4i9IFqGDcTKNVBmZFQ0ZkpVcVE/edit?pli=1

Audio of Education Committee meeting where Jim Folts questions Director of Schools Rob Britt.  https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4i9IFqGDcTKZkY2akdSWFMwZXc/edit?pli=1

According to Rob Britt, Mayor Ed Mitchell called him to have a meeting at each school.  Rob Britt says the purpose of the meetings was, “Real simple, it’s just to educate our faculty and staff on the sales tax referendum.”

Tennessee Code Annotated 2-19-134

(a) It is unlawful for any person to coerce or direct any employee to vote for any measure, party or person who may be a candidate for any office, or for any person who may be a candidate for nomination for any office, to threaten the discharge of such employee if the employee votes or does not vote for any such candidate for nomination or for office, or for any particular policy or measure.

Were these meetings mandatory?  Were employees told what the funds from the sales tax referendum would be used for?  Were certain Commissioners, facing opponents, invited when others weren’t?  A yes answer to these questions would likely mean that one or more of these law(s) was/were broken.

An investigation should be conducted by the DA.  If any of these laws were broken, then Rob Britt should be demoted and the Mayor should resign.

3 thoughts on “Did Mayor Ed Mitchell and Director of Schools Rob Britt break State election laws?

  1. It is very clear that laws were indeed broken. The only real question is “will anything of significance actually be done about it?” I know I was not invited to any of these meetings, nor were any of the challengers whose statements were being publicly refuted. These laws specifically prohibit such meetings….and even if the “powers that be” choose to err on the side of “nothing was coerced”, these laws still would REQUIRE them to give equal time to those in opposition of the points/candidates they were promoting. This MUST be taken to the next level if local authorities refuse to do their jobs and prosecute the guilty parties in these crimes.

  2. This is politics at its worse using the schools, mandating the employees to attend how deceitful and immoral. What happened to allow the folks to decide for themselves use their own brain instead of one on loan to them.
    The teachers were instructed to vote yes for the sales tax what else they were told as some Commissioners attended the meeting and they were on the ballot for the primary election on May 6. no one knows. At the polls a parent informed me she brought her children to watch her vote as they were told to go with a parent who was voting they would get extra credit by bringing the receipt to prove
    their parents voted. Not at all impressed with Mayor Mitchell and Rob Britt to play dirty politics with the Blount Co School employees and allowing the students to extra credit. Easy grade, what will they be promised next?
    The newly elected Commissioners will be taunted and belittled by their peers
    as they will do what is right for “WE THE PEOPLE” and the community.

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