Two longtime employees ousted by Tunica County board - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Two longtime employees ousted by Tunica County board

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A few county leaders say financial problems in Tunica have not improved. They felt it was time for a switch, while others argue the change takes a lot of experience out of county government. A few county leaders say financial problems in Tunica have not improved. They felt it was time for a switch, while others argue the change takes a lot of experience out of county government.
TUNICA COUNTY, MS -

(WMC-TV) - There was a government shake-up in Tunica County, Miss., Monday night after the county's board decided to terminate the services of two longtime employees.

A few county leaders say financial problems in Tunica have not improved. They felt it was time for a switch, while others argue the change takes a lot of experience out of county government.

Barbara Tuchel is an activist in Tunica County. She was there Monday night when the board voted to do away with longtime county administrator Clifton Johnson and board attorney Andy Dulaney.

"You could have heard a pin drop. It was a shock to all of us," said Tuchel.

The board voted three to two with supervisors in their second year outvoting supervisors on previous administrations like Cedric Burnett.

"They have really hurt the people of Tunica County by getting rid of those two people," said Burnett.

Supervisor Sonny Nickson, Jr. voted for the change after he said financial problems did not improve in his two years in office.

"This goes back to the previous board and has continued to now, so we just want to stop the bleeding and be more responsible," said Nickson.

The board learned the county is around $82,000 short covering claims. Clifton Johnson oversaw finances and said he has been warning board members about financial trouble ahead after declining casino revenue.

"The board approves all spending. I don't approve any spending," said Johnson.

Johnson's role will be filled by Michael Thompson, who was already taking a look at the county's finances. Clarksdale attorney Ellis Pittman will replace Andy Dulaney.

Barbara Tuchel hopes the switch is for the best.

"All of us have a voice and we need some changes," she said.

Johnson will continue to work with his replacement for 30 days. Dulaney did not return Action News 5's phone calls on Tuesday.

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