Vice Mayor Shulman Says Metro Council Will Revisit Verification Process for Community Oversight Board Members


Metro Nashville’s Community Oversight Board (COB) members aren’t vetted prior to appointment – officials say they’re taken at their word. However, the shakiness of this method was exposed/ proved unreliable after The Tennessee Star discovered that recently-resigned member Ovid Timothy Hughes isn’t a registered voter, as he’d claimed and as was required of him by law. Hughes is a convicted felon, tried and charged in 2008 for mail fraud. He racked up over $78,000 of fraudulent charges against a previous employer using stolen credit card and account information.

Nashville Vice Mayor Jim Shulman spoke with The Star about this revelation. He assured us that they would be taking extra steps in the future to verify all COB applicants’ voting eligibility.

“Based upon what we’re hearing in this situation, we need to go back and look at our form [questionnaire] again and make sure we’re asking all the pertinent questions,” stated Shulman. “It sounds like what we’ll have to do is set up a process to verify [voter status] with the election commission.”

Considering the COB’s sway in police accountability and operations, as well as Hughes’ lack of disclosure about his background, The Star asked Shulman if Metro government officials would be conducting any further background checks on COB members upon appointment. Shulman indicated that they wouldn’t.

“I certainly hope everybody has been truthful on their forms,” stated Shulman. “Because of this issue, we will go back and double-check [other board members], but we haven’t heard [of others not being registered voters] at this point.”

The Star has inquired with COB Executive Director Jill Fitcheard about Hughes’ lack of transparency and the vetting process for COB members, considering her extensive background in law enforcement and criminal justice. We have also inquired about the details of her time as a police officer in the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C. (MPDC). Fitcheard hasn’t responded to calls or emails by The Star.

The Star is awaiting responses on several open records requests concerning Fitcheard: Metro Nashville government records on Fitcheard’s submitted applications and resume and MPDC records on Fitcheard’s service.

In an interview with The Star, Metro Councilman-At-Large Steve Glover stated that he would hope that stricter standards for COB membership and admission are implemented.

“My thoughts are that especially on this board that in the event that the state hasn’t done that if the registered voter doesn’t get you, certainly the convicted felon part should,” stated Glover. “Having a convicted felon sitting on the COB is almost backwards.”

Glover noted that they don’t have the authority to require applicants to sign or testify under sworn statements. He also pointed out that the COB doesn’t really reflect the community it serves.

“From my standpoint, then it really needs to be representative of the community. They don’t want a conservative on there. They don’t want anyone that’s recommended by the FOP [Fraternal Order of Police],” stated Glover. “That’s just wrong. That’s a slanted, opinionated board, period.”

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Vice Mayor Jim Shulman” by Vice Mayor Jim Shulman.






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4 Thoughts to “Vice Mayor Shulman Says Metro Council Will Revisit Verification Process for Community Oversight Board Members”

  1. Scott Geoffries

    If you haven’t noticed yet…there is a cabal of social justice warriors taking over Nashville. They are all intertwined between Rep Cooper’s office, Equity Alliance, John Cooper’s office, Community Oversight Board, Gideon, City Council, etc.

    1. Wolf Woman

      Yes, you are right, Scott.

  2. Joey Verge

    Dang…I’ve been enjoying Corrine’s research on this. It would take Fitcheard a couple of minutes to set the record straight. The longer she holds out the more I think she is hiding something. Question is, just how much?

    Agree with Glover about balancing the board. Good luck with that though.

  3. rick

    Well Metro has finally gotten wise to the fact to NOT show Commie Cooper’s face ( although he may be on a trip to a Commie Democrat conference planning more tax increases). The citizens hate Cooper as much as they dislike this stupid Communist Review Board.. How ignorant to not review or investigate the board members. The Cooper administration is corrupt top to bottom!. Looks like the board member qualifications are one of the following to have a criminal past, hate the police, be a racist, in general love criminals and or dislike Christians! Fine people