All’s quiet on Mitchell front as appeal deadline approaches

As the Jan. 21 deadline approaches, no definite decision has been made on whether to appeal the Blount County Merit Board’s ruling to the Blount County Circuit Court in the matter of the termination of former county administrator Ralph Mitchell, according to his attorney Greg Reid.

Mitchell’s employment as county administrator was terminated by the Blount County Commission on Aug. 21, then reaffirmed in a follow-up hearing on Sept. 6.

Mitchell’s legal team immediately appealed the commission action to the Blount County Merit Board. After more than three months of scheduling delays occasioned by various developments in the case, the merit board ruled on Dec. 21 to uphold the commission’s action.

Mitchell has the right to appeal the board’s findings, based on the transcript of its hearings, to the Circuit Court within 30 days of the date of the board’s ruling. Mitchell also has the option of filing a civil action for damages against the county, whether he appeals the merit board ruling or not. Attempts to reach Mitchell for comment have been unsuccessful.