Andy Berke responds:

Andy Berke

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this issue. Although we typically don't discuss personal employee matters in a public forum, our HR division provided the following statement that might be helpful:

“While the City of Chattanooga respects personal information concerning our employees and refrains from commenting on employee issues as it regards terminations, we have received several questions regarding the termination of employee Deryl Nelson and feel it is necessary to respond. As stated previously, there were several factors that led to the decision to terminate the employee. This included a history of inappropriate behavior as well as poor job performance.

Mr. Nelson’s personnel file includes 15 instances of corrective action taken since 2007, including a total of 20 days of suspension for making inappropriate and profane comments to female park visitors and a female employee, as well as negligence while operating a motor vehicle that resulted in two preventable accidents. During this time, Mr. Nelson also received four reprimands for poor job performance and inappropriate conduct, including the solicitation of free food from a local restaurant while on duty and becoming loud and angry after free food was denied.

The City is committed to providing the most efficient, effective, and courteous service while being responsible with taxpayer dollars; Mr. Nelson’s history of neglecting his job duties and inappropriate comments and conduct are not consistent with this commitment to our citizens.”

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions with me. Please don't hesitate to contact me in the future if you have questions or concerns - my email address is


Mayor Andy Berke
City of Chattanooga

Posted on June 27, 2014
  • Lolita Conley CALHOUN, GA
    • 7 months ago

    I think the whole thing is a load of BullS@#t. If the man would have had as many citations against him as the city claimed then he would have been fired a long time ago. He makes the park fun and is hurting no one but of course the stuck up powers that be would rather not have any visitors at all if it meant there would be no public displays of fun in the park. Grow up city officials and learn to experience life.

    • 7 months ago

    Dancing should not be the "last straw" to end this man's career. You should have fired him for lewd comments and behavior, but you didn't. So you have made yourselves look like bad guys by firing Mr. Nelson after a complaint about his dancing....and there's nothing lewd or inappropriate for children about what I saw on that video tape. If that is the worst there is, then the lady who complained needs to stay inside her home.

  • Janet Jones MURFREESBORO, TN
    • 7 months ago

    I am inclined to agree with James Wyatt. It seems as though he was fired "just because".

    • 7 months ago

    Mayor Berke,

    Thank You for responding and taking the time to address our petition.

  • James Wyatt MIDLAND, TX
    • 7 months ago

    wow, i call it a bunch of bull. How can someone have all that and not been fired before but yet be fired for dancing. I guess Tennessee needs to elect someone who doesnt feed a bunch of bull and get someone who can honestly do the job. If a employee did all this even in the police for they would been fired way before. Welp I wont be spending any money that park or any government park in tennessee.