Ethics comm. recommends Phillips resign from Knox School Board

Ethics comm. recommends Phillips resign from Knox School Board

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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) -- The ethics committee voted Tuesday to recommend that Knox County School Board member Bill Phillips voluntarily resign.

The action comes after Phillips, 44, pleaded guilty earlier in February to misdemeanor assault. It involved a confrontation with his wife the day after Christmas.

Karen Phillips said her husband put an object to her stomach and asked if she "was ready for this life to end." 

6 News asked Phillips on Sunday if he threatened Karen with a gun. He said the object was actually a tactical flashlight. 

The voluntary resignation motion passed by a vote of 2-1 with ethics committee member Rebecca Owens voting no. 

Another motion to recommend a public censure of Phillips passed the ethics committee unanimously on Tuesday.

The two recommendations will be put on the agenda for the school board's next meeting.

Phillips released the following statement Tuesday to 6 News:

"This is ugly politics. All of us are capable of making mistakes. I've apologized to my family, they've forgiven me, and I'm sorry the school board can't do the same. I have no plans to resign."

Phillips told 6 News the night of the incident he had taken a combination of prescription Ambien, and Pepcid for complications from gastric bypass surgery.

"My wife met with our doctor to see if the combination could have contributed to my thinking and behavior and we think it did," he said.

Knox County Law Director Bill Lockett has said Phillips has every right to stay on the board.

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