Group moves to recall Knox Co. school board member

Group moves to recall Knox Co. school board member


6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- A group is trying to oust Knox County School Board Member Bill Phillips and it's getting support from former Knox County Commissioner Jack Huddleston. 

Phillips pleaded guilty in February to misdemeanor assault of his wife.

In March, the school board voted to request that Phillips resign. Phillips apologized for his actions, but refused to step down.

Huddleston says the attorney general chose to let Phillips plead guilty to a lesser charge with little or no regard for the safety of the children in the 8th District.

He says Phillips has lost all respect from the school board members when he didn't do the right thing and resign immediately.

Amy Wright welcomes Huddleston's support. She started a committee to recall Bill Phillips in April.

"We have had a lot of people call, come out and email. We get more support every day," Wright says.

Wright says keeping Phillips on the school board will have a negative impact in the 8th District.

"If we needed anything for him to advocate on our behalf, the other school board members are not going to listen to him," Wright says. 

Gregg Lonas is also pushing for a recall. "My biggest issue with Mr. Phillips is that he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor aggravated assault."

Lonas says Phillips has no business being a school board member and should do his district a favor and resign.

"I don't believe someone who committed an offense like that against his loved one should be sitting on the school board and making policy for our children," Lonas says. 

6 News spoke with Bill Phillips about Huddleston's letter.

In a statement he says, "The incident had nothing to do with school or students. It was a very unfortunate situation. I appreciate the people of the 8th District that have come forward with encouragement and support for myself and my family."

The committee will have to wait until September when Phillips has been in office for one year before they can petition to have him recalled.

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