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For the second time in two months, Times Free Press right-side editorial page editor Drew Johnson has called for the resignation of a city official. In his first “Must Go” editorial on Dec. 12, 2012, Johnson dressed down Chattanooga Arts, Education and Cultural Dept. administrator Missy Crutchfield, seeking her resignation and/or firing. This week, Johnson takes aim at East Ridge City Manager Tim Gobble.
In his Saturday, Feb. 2, editorial, Johnson detailed the misadventures of the embattled Gobble—whose long history on taxpayer’s payroll in Cleveland (as well as the Secret Service) is gleefully chronicled at hometowncleveland.com—and issued his decree. But Gobble, never known to back down from a fight, responded quickly in a press release emailed to The Pulse and Chattanooga media defending the accusations made against him, often in the third person.
“The laundry list of Gobble’s errors in judgment and alleged wrongdoing, outlined in previous news reports, is shocking: hiring a teenage family friend to perform a job that requires a degree and years of experience, misusing thousands of dollars in city funds, inappropriately attacking critics on the city’s Facebook page and tainting a court case involving his daughter.”
Gobble called the accusations against him and “top-level city staff” reckless finishing by writing: “City staff looks forward to addressing each false reckless allegation made by Drew Johnson, line by line and has documentation, receipts, audits, budgets, policy guidelines and other documentation to prove we do things right.”
Gobble’s long career began with a stint in the Secret Service, a post he was reportedly fired from according to hometowncleveland.com. He is also a former Cleveland City Councilman, Bradley County Sheriff, ex-emergency management agency director for that city and a failed U.S. congressional candidate, with a remarkable pheonix-like ability to rise from the ashes of these roles.
The full press release can be viewed online at chattanoogapulse.com.