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Crossville City Manager Suspended Following Village Inn Closure

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Crossville City Manager Suspended Following Village Inn Closure

Crossville City Manager Greg Wood was suspended for three weeks Tuesday amid concerns of due process over the closure of the Village Inn.

The motel on Burnett Street closed last week due to allegations of code infractions. It then reopened shortly after. City Attorney William Ridley recommended the city council to approve an outside investigation based on the actions under Wood’s leadership.

“In consulting with our insurance attorney, we’ve been advised that we should look at a private investigation by a third-party law firm,” Ridley said. “We’ve identified a law firm out of Chattanooga, and two of those gentlemen are here tonight.”

The City Council approved the investigation with a $10,000 cost limit after hearing from the group. Wood did not speak on the suspension during the special called meeting. In a phone call to Wood’s city office Monday, he was reportedly out for medical issues.

City Recorder Valerie Hale will serve as interim city manager until the end of the suspension or the investigation comes to a conclusion. Wood will still receive pay over that time.

Meanwhile, the Village Inn Owner Steve Threet spoke out during the public comment. Threet said he believed the closing of the motel was “heartless.”

“Did we have some issues? Yeah,” Threet said. “Was I ever asked to ever explain any issues? No. We’ll discuss that later on. I think there was a big mistake. In actuality, I think I was targeted or my business was targeted.”

Threet said he considered the property as low-income housing with several residents living at the motel for several years on reduced rent. Threet did however admit that the property has a drug and homeless issue.

“I have worked close with the police department for several months,” Threet said. “We have a homeless problem. That’s 90 percent of my problems and police calls at the Village Inn. In the last month, I have evicted four rooms for drug activity.”

Mayor James Mayberry said he would like to avoid any litigation on the situation. However, Mayberry said no decision will be made until the investigation is complete.

The Village Inn was forced to shut down by city officials after several code violations were allegedly found following a warrant being served last week.


The post Crossville City Manager Suspended Following Village Inn Closure appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.