Mitchell merit board case ends without appeal

Former county administrator Ralph Mitchell will not appeal the decision of the Blount County Merit Board to Blount County Circuit Court, Mitchell’s attorney Greg Reid said Monday. The merit board had ruled on Dec. 21 to dismiss Mitchell, upholding the Blount County Commission’s termination of his employment in September. Monday was the deadline to appeal the merit board ruling.

“I advised my client that there was very little to be gained by going any further, since it was the merit board’s procedures only that were subject to appeal,” Reid said.

Thus, the case that unseated Mitchell and disrupted the Blount County Commission’s operations for nearly half a year, stirring animosities among many of those directly and indirectly affected, came to a close quietly.

The county commission just last week advertised for candidates to fill the job of county administrator – vacant since August – a critical position in the handling of both routine and non-routine county business, including the commission’s accounting and budgetary operations. The commission hopes to complete the hiring process and have the job filled by the end of February, according to Probate Judge and Commission Chairman Chris Green.