911 center Diane Argraves


During its February regular meeting Wednesday, the Coffee County Consolidated Communications Board voted to terminate Coffee County 911 Communications Center Director Diane Argraves' position after she rejected the severance package the board offered. 

 "I've thought about it," Argraves told the board concerning its offer. "I've prayed about it, and I've come to the conclusion that I will not accept it." 

Following her rejection of the severance package, the board followed through in its decision at special call meeting Feb. 10 and chose to terminate Argraves, effective immediately, with the stipulation that she still has 20 days to accept the severance package. 

Board member Daniel Berry made the motion, to terminate Argraves for "failure of job performance." Board member Chris Elam seconded. The vote was five to one with Chairman of the Board Chad Partin abstaining and Joe Hinch voting no.

"We have done our due diligence (with offering the package)," Berry told Argraves, "We appreciate your service. It's nothing personal. I think everyone appreciates what you have done. It's just time for a change." 

Board accountant Scott LeDuc was named interim director at the meeting.     

The move for a new director comes in the midst of a complaint against Partin by Argraves. Board member Missy Deford made a statement  that the decision to terminate the director is separate from the complaint. 

"I've really had to separate my feelings between that situation and this situation," she said. "I think the world of you, Diane. But we had to separate that situation and this situation. I don't want anyone to think that it has any influence (on my vote)."

Berry offered the 20 days to accept the severance as a measure of good intent toward the director. 

The package, according to LeDuc, was in the high end of industry standard. It included Argraves' salary through then end of fiscal year, salary for the whole month of February and a few hundred dollars rounded up. 

LeDuc called the offer the highest you could get and remain within industry standard. He said in offering such an offer, the board was taking the high road.


John has been with the Manchester Times since May 2011. He covers Lifestyles in addition to handling education reporting and general news assignments.John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories. John is a 1994 graduate of Tullahoma High School, a graduate of Motlow State Community College and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Tullahoma, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife, Mitsy, and his 17-month-old, Sean.

Staff Writer

Download the free Manchester Times mobile app at the app store. John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories.

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