12 Knox officeholders appointed again, 3 are repeats

12 Knox officeholders appointed again, 3 are repeats

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Twelve Knox County officeholders were appointed and sworn in Wednesday to fill the offices made vacant by a chancellor's ruling following the Sunshine Trial. They include eight commissioners and four countywide officeholders.

The same 12 offices were first filled by appointments in January 2007. Those officeholders were ousted by the chancellor's ruling nine months later, in October.

Three of the officeholders, Sheriff J.J. Jones, Trustee Fred Sisk and Register of Deeds Sherry Witt, are the same people who were appointed last year.

County Clerk: George Stooksbury

It took four votes to reach the majority for Stooksbury's appointment.

Trustee: Fred Sisk

Commissioners put Sisk in for his second appointment by a vote of 10-0.

He also won the Republican primary for trustee.

Sheriff: Jimmy "J.J." Jones

Commissioners put Jones in for his second appointment by a vote of 10-1.

He also won the Republican primary for the sheriff's office.

Register of Deeds: Sherry Witt

Commissioners put Witt in for her second appointment by a unanimous vote, 11-0.

She also won the Republican primary for register of deeds.

1st Commission District seat 1-A: Samuel P. McKenzie

Commissioners appointed McKenzie by a vote of 10-1.

McKenzie, a Democrat, refused to withdraw as a candidate for appointment although one of his opponents in the upcoming general election, Albert Baah, a Republican, called for him to.

"I take great offense at anyone who insinuates this is somehow an underhanded deal. Look at my resume. Compare me person to person," McKenzie said.

Baah said he didn't think primary winners should take part in the appointment process. The men were the two 1st District winners in the primary.

2nd Commission District seat 2-B: Mark Campen

It took three votes to reach the majority for Campen's appointment.

4th Commission District seat 4-A: Elaine Davis

Davis said she thought Wednesday's appointment process went "very smoothly" but she wished they had been made earlier.

4th Commission District seat 4-B: William Daniels

The first vote had to be taken over because the clerk couldn't understand some of the names they announced. Then the numbers forced a second, third and fourth vote.

Residents in the 4th District had no commissioners from October 2007, when both were ousted, until Wednesday.

5th Commission District seat 5-C: Richard Briggs

He also won the Republican primary for the 5th District, with 42 percent of the vote.

"It's not all about politics," Briggs told 6 News afterward. "It's sometimes about trying to do things to make our government more efficient and trying to make the quality of life in the community better. And personally, I want to put those things above political expediency, which would have been much simpler for me to say I'll wait until August to accept those responsibilities."

6th Commission District seat 6-A: Robert Rountree

The appointment for Rountree was made by a unanimous vote. He told commissioners he has a daughter who teaches at Central High School.

8th Commission District seat 8-B: Dave Wright

Commissioners appointed Wright by a vote of 8-2.

He also won the Republican primary for the 8th District, with 41 percent of the vote.

9th Commission District seat 9-A: Victoria DeFreese

Commissioners appointed DeFreese by a vote of 10-1.

The appointees were all sworn in during a single ceremony Wednesday afternoon at the City County Building.

The appointments process differed greatly from the way the January 2007 appointments were conducted, when several recesses were taken, some officeholders were sworn in before the appointments were complete and backroom meetings were interrupted.

"This was an open and transparent process," said interim Commission Chairman Thomas "Tank" Strickland. "Anyone that had anything to say at any given time, had the opportunity."

Mayor Mike Ragsdale didn't have a comment about the appointment process, but his spokesman, Dwight Van de Vate, said he was very impressed with everyone's conduct.

This time, commissioners were only allowed to take breaks one at a time. No lobbying was allowed and cell phones could not be used.

Applicants for Knox County Positions
check = Applicant appointed by county commissioners
1st District
  • Albert Baah
  • Robert Boyd
  • Therea A. Cox
  • Pete Drew
  • Jim Golden
  • Sam McKenzie check


  • 2nd District
  • Mark Campen
  • Kendall Wells
  • Chuck Williams
  • Robert Wolfenbarger III


  • 4th District
  • Mike Alford
  • Logan Brummitt
  • William Daniels
  • Elaine Davis
  • Walter Wojnar

  • 5th District
  • Thomas Baer
  • Richard Briggs check
  • Theodore W. Piehl
  • Pam Treacy


  • 6th District
  • Roger Kane
  • Robert F. Rountree


  • 8th District
  • Jim Boyer
  • George Paul Carney
  • Tom Lakins
  • Dave Wright check


  • 9th District
  • Victoria DeFreese
  • Ed Frahme
  • Claudia H. Linse
  • Martin Pleasant
  • Chuck Ward

  • County Clerk
  • Elaina Shirk Cash
  • Carol Ellis
  • John Irwin
  • Anthony Scally
  • George Stooksbury check
  • Billy Tindell
  • Amy Henley-Vandergriff


  • Register
  • Sherry Witt check


  • Sheriff
  • Jimmy "J.J." Jones check
  • Tom Pressley


  • Trustee
  • Fred Sisk check

  • Withdrawn applicants: Chuck Bolus, Mike Brown, Steve Buttry, Tommy Everette, Caroline Hindman, Vernon Rose
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