The Thursday segment revealed that Arriola paid $16,826 of taxpayer money to a PR firm, The Andrews Agency, for what was essentially an ad campaign to boost Arriola's name recognition. Worse yet, the agency is headed by Susan Andrews, a longtime friend of Arriola's. Furthermore, Andrews employs the wife of one of Arriola's top aides, and it was a no-bid contract.
Other highlights (lowlights?):
• Arriola spent $806 of taxpayer money on a studio photo portrait of himself, when Metro has a photographer who would have done it for free. "I wanted to make sure we had a good shot so I'm very comfortable," Arriola said in a feeble attempt to justify the expenditure.
• Arriola spent $4,800 of taxpayer money to design a John Arriola logo.
• Arriola spent $34,087 of taxpayer money to replace perfectly functional signs in front of his offices that read "Davidson County Clerk" with new signs that feature his name and the new $4,800 logo. Signs that will have to be replaced again when he is no longer the county clerk. (Which may be much sooner than he anticipated.) Hello?! Anybody home? What a vain, shortsighted and just plain stupid expenditure. The mind reels.
The story on the WTVF site has links to all sorts of damning documents and emails. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, but I wouldn't be surprised to see his supporters start to distance themselves from him as the vultures begin to circle. Then again, if Arriola somehow holds onto his job after this debacle, that PR money was well spent indeed.