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Clerk says she was told to not release debt info

By: Ashley Reynolds Email
By: Ashley Reynolds Email

It's a city that can file for bankruptcy and the clerk says the former mayor did not want anyone to know.

Cumberland City Clerk Robin Smith says former mayor Loretta Cornett instructed her not to tell the city council how much debt the city has.

"She just said we would try to deal with it ourselves," said Smith.

"I just want to know why. Why would you allow the previous council to pass a budget that's doom to fail?" said Charles Raleigh, Cumberland City Council Member.

Mayor Carl Hatfield says he did his own research when he was on the previous council. He said he knew the city owed hundreds of thousands of dollars... but he did not know the exact amount.

"I wasn't entitled to that privileged information. I did ask for it," said Hatfield.

Council members say not only do they want to figure out exactly how much debt the city has... they also want state agencies to look into the situation.

Council members say they are in the process of making payment plans and hoping the city will not have to file for bankruptcy.

WYMT talked with Cornett on the phone.
She tells WYMT the claims made by the clerk are not true.
Cornett says while she was mayor, she had an open door policy.

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