Mayor announces COO Riebeling to leave - WSMV News 4

Mayor announces COO Riebeling to leave

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Rich Riebeling (WSMV) Rich Riebeling (WSMV)

One of Nashville’s most powerful and controversial leaders is leaving his job.

The Mayor’s Office announced on Tuesday that Rich Riebeling, the city’s Chief Operating Officer, was leaving the city.

Riebeling’s name has been heard a lot lately in a series of News4 I-Team investigations.

He has served four mayors, pulling together some of the city’s biggest projects like the Music City Center and the Nashville Sounds new baseball stadium.

But some in the Metro Council weren’t happy about some of the deals Riebeling made without their input.

“I think transparency and accountability is very important,” said Metro Councilwoman Erica Gilmore. “Nobody likes to be blindsided.”

The News4 I-Team has broke a number of stories involving Riebeling.

Recently The I-Team reported about Riebeling giving the OK for his friend Larry Atema of Commonwealth Development to do design work for the new MLS stadium. Riebeling billed the Metro Sports Authority for Atema’s work without asking them.

The I-Team has also reported that while Riebeling was the city’s finance director, the Karl Dean administration used money meant for flood victims to design Ascend Amphitheater.

Mayor David Briley said he’s sorry to see Riebeling leave, giving him credit for Nashville’s unprecedented growth.

“I think the prosperity in the city is due in part to all of his work as finance director and then COO,” said Briley.

Councilman Steve Glover said all that spending has left the taxpayers owing a lot of money.

“We, literally, since 2000 have tripled, almost quadrupled our debt in this city,” said Glover.

Riebeling will leave his post in September.

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