Chancellor Fansler won't hear ouster suit against commissioners

Chancellor Fansler won't hear ouster suit against commissioners

Posted:

By HARLOW SUMERFORD
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Chancellor Daryl R. Fansler has decided to step aside in the ouster case against two Knox County commissioners.

Attorney Herb Moncier filed a lawsuit on behalf of 10 Knox county citizens, calling for the immediate suspension and eventual ouster of Commissioners Scott Moore and Paul Pinkston.

The suit claims the two lied under oath during last fall's Sunshine Trial, which Chancellor Fansler presided over.

A jury found commissioners violated the state's Sunshine Law when they appointed 12 new officeholders in January 2007.

To make sure he receives a fair trial, Commissioner Moore requested that Fansler not be the one who decides this case.

Chancellor Fansler will ask the state Supreme Court to assign a judge with no ties to the Sunshine Trial to hear the case. That judge is expected to come from outside the 6th Judicial District. 

When the new judge takes over, a number of motions will be considered.

The first motion is whether the two commissioners should be tried together. Moore and Pinkston would prefer separate trials.

Another issue is whether the case will be heard by a jury or conducted as a bench trial.

Moore and Pinkston weren't in court Friday.

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