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Mt. Juliet parks employees dispatched to clean up councilman's yard

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Councilman Ray Justice Councilman Ray Justice
MT. JULIET, TN (WSMV) -

Parks department workers are supposed to keep their cities clean of trash and other debris, but there are questions about public employees sent to work on a Middle Tennessee councilman's private property.

Workers from the Mount Juliet Parks Department were dispatched to the home of a city councilman to pick up brush from his yard.

That councilman insists he told the city not to do him any favors, but even the director of the parks department acknowledges they don't do this for anyone else.

When Ray Justice, a city councilman and Wilson County sheriff's deputy, had limbs and brush in his yard, all it took was a phone call from city manager Kenny Martin.

The parks director sent a crew right over, even though he says house calls aren't something they do, and Martin doesn't deny it.

"As a city manager, I can make those kinds of decisions if it's the right thing to do, and I make no apologies about that," Martin said.

What he does deny is that there was any sort of special treatment involved.

"That's just not true. To me, all citizens are special," he said.

The public works department covers tree limb pickups, but residents usually have to wait for the department's chipper service to schedule a pick-up time in their neighborhood.

But Martin says he's done this before and he'll do it again. So, if you have brush in your yard, you need it removed and public works is too busy, you can call him directly.

"I'll continue to do these things and won't hide behind them, won't apologize for them if I feel like in my heart it's the right thing to do. I know it's not special favors, and right is right, wrong is wrong and I feel like this is the right thing to do," Martin said.

The state comptroller's office, which encourages people to report concerns about how their communities are doing business, is aware of the situation. But a spokesman couldn't tell us whether that office will investigate this case.

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