Tag Archives: quits

Davidson Election Administrator Fired; Commissioner Quits

Albert Tieche is out at the Davidson County Election Commission, and Commissioner Jim Gotto announced he will be leaving as well, reports The City Paper.
After a heated meeting where tempers where high and accusations flew, the commission voted 4 to 1 to fire Tieche from his post as administrator of elections. The decision follows a highly critical report from the state, detailing numerous problems with the execution of elections over the last year.
Before the vote, Gotto — a newly appointed Republican commissioner — accused Chairman Ron Buchanan of “fast-tracking” the process, and harboring a “deep personal bias” against Tieche. Gotto will remain on the commission through July 31, or until state Republicans can find a replacement.
“You’ve lost my respect and my trust,” Gotto told Buchanan, to loud applause from a room full of Republican activists who shared his displeasure with the chairman.
Both Tieche and Gotto left the meeting without comment.
Tieche appeared to be in trouble from the minute the meeting was called to order. As the crowded hearing room of reporters, activists, and a couple of Metro Council members looked on, a clearly agitated Buchanan began a lengthy statement by addressing the stream of mean emails he had received in recent weeks, some of which he said may have even crossed the line into being criminally threatening.
He also denied the rumors in those emails that he had been appointed with a directive to fire Tieche. In fact, he said, the only directive he and the other new commissioners received, aside from carrying out the duties of the commission, was to stay out of the headlines. Buchanan acknowledged that they had “failed miserably” at that goal.
The chairman went on to summarize a number of problems cited in state Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins’ review of the commission, including failure to open on a Saturday during early voting, understaffed and under-resourced polling places, inadequately trained poll workers, and issuing conflicting reports regarding voter participation to the state. Along the way, Buchanan rejected just about every defense Tieche had offered for the failings.

Kate O’Day Out at DCS; Jim Henry In

News release from the governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that Department of Children’s Services (DCS) Commissioner Kate O’Day has resigned from her post.
“Kate has informed me that she felt the time was right to step down,” Haslam said. “She was concerned that she had become more of a focus than the children the department serves.
“I appreciate Kate’s service to this administration and to our state. She has done a lot of good work in identifying longstanding problems that have hampered the department, and we will build on those efforts as we move forward.”
O’Day joined the Haslam administration in January 2011. Prior to that, she served as president and chief executive officer of Child & Family Tennessee in Knoxville. She began her career as a youth counselor with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida and later served as vice president of program development and evaluation for Children’s Home Society of Florida and director of program services for Covenant House of Florida.
The governor has named Commissioner Jim Henry, who currently heads up the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD), to serve as interim commissioner of DCS.
“I am grateful to Jim for agreeing to take on this interim role,” Haslam continued. “He has significant experience both in the private and public sectors and has devoted the better part of his life to caring for some of our most vulnerable citizens.”
Henry is the first commissioner of DIDD, which was formerly a division of the Department of Finance and Administration before becoming a state department on January 15, 2011. Before joining the Haslam administration, Henry served as president and chief executive officer of Omni Visions, Inc, a company serving adults with developmental disabilities and children and families in crisis. A Vietnam veteran and former mayor of Kingston, Henry spent 12 years as a state representative and six of those years as minority leader.
Henry will continue to serve as commissioner of DIDD during his interim role of leading DCS. The governor will immediately begin a search for a new commissioner of DCS.