Longtime Republican John Gill, former U.S. attorney, has endorsed Democratic nominee Sarah Keith for General Sessions judge. She opposes incumbent Republican General Sessions Judge Chuck Cerny.
This is a significant lift for Keith, who must have some Republican support if she is to win. It has been more than 10 years since a Democrat won a Knox County judicial election.
The settlement of the John Lott case against Knox County over Lott’s PTSD — in addition to costing taxpayers $785,000 — requires none of the parties to discuss it publicly. The fee to be paid Jennifer Morton as the mediator is $4,605 at $300 an hour for 15.35 hours.
Lott also agreed that he will not seek employment with any department of Knox County government, but also Knox County Planning, the Public Building Authority, Community Action Committee, Metropolitan Drug Commission, and KGIS.
Lott, former director of the Regional Forensic Center, has PTSD from his military service in Afghanistan. He was hired by then-County Mayor Tim Burchett and resigned under County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. He received positive annual evaluations.
However, when it became apparent that Lott’s PTSD was preventing him from performing as well as he would want, the county failed to find suitable and comparable employment.
Of the $785,000 settlement, $610,000 goes to Lott and his other two attorneys. This would not have been required had the powers-that-be in county government handled the situation in compliance with the American Disabilities Act.
At some point the Knox County School System and county government need a refresher course on the requirements of the ADA and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act instead of annually paying out over $1 million in legal costs and fees. Then someone needs to make sure that there is compliance.
The Court of Appeals, in an opinion by Judge Kenny Armstrong on Feb. 1, upheld most of Chancellor John Weaver’s opinion on the open records request by Meghan Conley to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
In a blistering opinion, the court unanimously said, “Rather than fulfill its duty, KCSO (Knox County Sheriff Office) deliberately chose not to search for archived records, despite its own policy requiring employees to retain these records. KCSO presents no legal justification for this decision. Accordingly, we conclude that KCSO’s partial denial of Ms. Conley’s request was willful.”
Mike Ruble is counsel for the sheriff and David Buuck is county law director. One has to wonder if these two people ever suggested to KCSO employees that obeying the public records law is important.
Dr. Don Bruce is the new director of the Boyd Center for Economic Research at the University of Tennessee. He will earn $305,000 starting Aug. 1, a $45,000 increase from his previous salary of $260,849 as the associate director.
Dr. Bill Fox, who ran the Boyd business center and was paid $323,053 a year, has retired but starts work as a new special adviser to UT Chancellor Donde Plowman at $150,000 a year.
Democratic State Rep. Gloria Johnson had a kickoff reception at the home of Nancy Stewart June 9 attended by more than 100 in her new district. While Johnson faces some health issues, she is waging an active campaign. Her Republican opponent is David Poczobut.
Mayor Indya Kincannon cut the ribbon June 13 on the $1.7 million Northwest Greenway connecting Western Avenue with Victor Ashe Park. Councilwoman Seema Singh introduced Kincannon. More than 30 people attended in hot weather, including Hilary Hohl and her 1-year-old son, John. She’s the wife of County Commission candidate Stuart Hohl. Candidate Hohl is a greenway promoter.
What is the argument against raising the age to purchase an assault weapon from 18 to 21 when one must be 21 to buy beer, wine or other alcohol? Seems pretty clear to me that this step would be helpful to save lives.
June 26: Former UT vice chancellor Margie Nichols is 69. Attorney Terry Adams is 52.Shelley Burns is 49. Bennett Gallery’s Robert Shipley is 59.
June 27: Attorney Ann Rowland is 80. Farragut Mayor Ron Williams is 72. Dr. Bob Overholt is 84. Knox News and News Sentinel editor Joel Christopher is 51.
June 28: Greg Mackay is 68. Former Knox GOP chair Gerald Turner is 80. Brian Bibb is 34.
June 29: Carmen J. Trammell is 70. Michael Schmidt is 25. State Rep. Jason Zachary is 45. Rob DeLozier is 75. Charles Wagner is 78. Roy Cockrum is 66.
June 30: Leland Price is 52. Chip Barry is 56. Retired chancellor Sharon Bell is 78. Former city councilman Marshall Stair is 44. Sherri Lee is 76. Tony Cappiello is 58. Charles Al-Bawi is 32.
July 1: Retired UT professor and school board chair Dan Murphy is 67. Former Knox schools superintendent Jim McIntyre is 55. Dr. Sarkis Chobanian is 71. The Rev. Johnnie Skinner is 72. Anne Wallace is 42. Retired UT professor Paul Watkins is 88. Winfield Dunn (governor 1971-1975) is 95. Ann Bailey is 66. Former state senator Earl Sharp is 84. Teddie Mounts, husband of Kristin Farley, is 61.
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