Knox Co. school board member apologizes for his actions

Knox Co. school board member apologizes for his actions

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Knox County School Board member Bill Phillips Knox County School Board member Bill Phillips

By SHELBY BAKER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Knox County School Board member Bill Phillips sat quietly Monday night as his colleagues discussed how best to handle what they call a black eye on the board.

Phillips, 44, is accused of threatening his wife, Karen, 42, with a handgun on December 26, 2008 at their home in Corryton. He pleaded guilty to the charge earlier in February.

"This board has been hurt. We've suffered. Our public image, our public credibility our leadership has been compromised," said School Board member Dr. Dan Murphy.

In a statement to the board, Phillips asked for forgiveness.

"My family has forgiven me for that embarrassing day and now I am asking for your forgiveness and understanding. I also ask that this board and community understand that I am only a human being capable of making mistakes as well as other individuals."

Knox County Law Director Bill Lockett weighed in on the legal side, saying Phillips has every right to stay on the board.

"Based on a misdemeanor conviction, particularly this kind of misdemeanor conviction, the board has no legal right to remove Phillips from the board," Lockett said.

Phillips left the meeting quickly, stopping only for a moment to discuss the incident with 6 News. "I was very sincere tonight. I'm very sorry for the embarrassment I've caused this board."

The school board plans to meet with the ethics committee next week.  

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