MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Mountain City Mayor Jerry Jordan has officially suspended the city recorder following her and a former employee’s arrest.
A release from the mayor on Thursday states Sheila Shaw has been suspended until further notice due to her being charged with official misconduct.
Jordan specified in the release that his decision to suspend Shaw must be confirmed by the city council at its meeting on Aug. 2.
In an interview with News Channel 11, Jordan said Shaw and former bookkeeper Donna Nelson both worked with the town for decades before her suspension and Nelson’s 2021 resignation. With Shaw’s suspension, the four remaining clerks in the recorder’s office are without management. While Mountain City searches for an interim appointee, Jordan said Shaw’s duties will be split amongst other employees.
“Bad decisions were made,” Jordan said. “Or wrong decisions were made; it’s a sad situation.”
Shaw and former city hall clerk Donna Nelson were each arrested on charges of official misconduct. Nelson was also charged with theft between $2,500 and $10,000, according to court documents.
Jordan said that the investigation came as a shock when they were first approached by the Comptroller’s office in 2021, and that the city complied with the state’s requests from the beginning.
“The town was in full cooperation of the investigation,” Jordan said. “We aren’t trying to hide anything. We are very sorry this happened. I hate it for the two parties involved.”
While the charges and report caused concern for Jordan, he said he believes Shaw to be a trustworthy, hard worker.
“It’s disheartening, a disappointment,” Jordan said. “She was a very good city recorder. She worked numerous hours, was very proficient. The right decision or wrong decision was made that created this situation. She’s a very trustworthy person. I hate it very much for her.”
The news rattled the small town’s whole government, Jordan said, since her time in the office had interacted with so many parts of residents’ lives.
“There’s a lot of work that comes out of the recorder’s office,” Jordan said. “It’s just gonna be a trying time.”
Jordan told News Channel 11 that Nelson had resigned from her position with Mountain City in late 2021.
The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office confirmed they were investigating the alleged misconduct and expect to issue further details Thursday.