Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank fights accusations

Anderson County mayor takes to steps of courthouse to fight accusations of double-dipping

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Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank read from a prepared statement and did not take questions Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank read from a prepared statement and did not take questions

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

CLINTON (WATE) - Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank held a no-questions news conference on the steps of the county courthouse Monday to defend herself in a dispute stemming from the county's vehicle and travel policy.

Frank says accusations leveled by County Commission Chairman Chuck Fritts two weeks ago are politically-motivated.

Fritts said politics has nothing to do with his motivation.

"I was elected to a bipartisan position," Fritts said. "For it to be a political agenda, you have to be part of a political party. I'm not going to rubber stamp any action that I don't believe is in the best interest of Anderson County."

"The mayor is the chief financial officer for the county and she should know how her own salary is broken down and what costs are allowed to be reimbursed under our travel policy," Fritts said.

Fritts accused Frank of both using a $400 per month allowance for travel and also using a Crown Victoria owned by the county.

Fritts says she should only have done one: use the car or take the money.

At the news conference, which she called "Truth, Law and the Facts," Frank said she has never used a county-owned Crown Victoria or double-dipped from taxpayer funds.

"It is never my desire to play out disagreements in the media, for as leaders, we are to lead first by example," she said. "Yet here we are and for that, I offer my sincere and heartfelt apologies. However, because Commissioner Fritts has challenged my very honesty, I cannot be silent."

Frank told the media she has never submitted for reimbursements that were not allowed and has not submitted items that are legally eligible for reimbursement.

"People in this county may not like my politics, my dress, my method of tackling problems, my governance," she said, "but there is one accusation that will never stick, and that is that I would abuse your tax dollars for my own personal enrichment."

The county mayor accused Fritts of submitting items for reimbursements at the expense of taxpayer dollars.

Another county commissioner, Whitey Hitchcock, told 6 News the whole issue is about the next election.

"Everybody involved is up for re-election next year and it's never too early to start getting ready," he said.

Frank took office in August 2012 to serve the remaining two years of former mayor Rex Lynch's term.

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