Appointments: not without controversy

Appointments: not without controversy

Swearing in arguments

Newly appointed Commissioner Charles "Chuck" Bolus was sworn in during a recess in the appointment process after voting returned to the tie for 4th District Seat B.

Commissioner Mark Harmon objected to the swearing in of one commissioner instead of all.

County Law Director John Owings said being sworn in during the appointment process was always a possibility. And he said since Bolus took the oath of office, he could be seated.

Outgoing Commissioner John Schmid, who held a seat in the 4th District, called the process despicable and underhanded.

The other outgoing 4th District Commissioner, Phil Guthe, asked if commission should start over taking nominations for his district.

The law director agreed since Bolus wasn't seated during the previous nominations.

Commissioner Greg Lambert moved to swear in the other replacements for commission, bringing an exchange of bickering.

But eventually, the nomination process for the 4th District began again without anyone else being sworn in.

Lee Tramel won the seat after the most votes of the entire process.

Tramel's opponent, Scott Davis, bowed out of the race at the last minute. But he got the last word.

"I hope and pray each of you takes this upon yourself to move Knoxville in a positive direction and stop the fighting and bickering and the backroom deals we've seen for years and years," Davis said. 

And 6 News busted up a backroom meeting as newly appointed Commissioner Richard Cate attempted to be sworn in.

If he had gone through with it, he would have replaced Commissioner John Schmid immediately.

Schmid was furious. "They tried to sneak behind people's back. I'm not talking about Richard. I'm talking about the sheriff and his crew. This is typical of the way they operate."

Sheriff nominations

When commission opened the floor for nominations, only one was made, J.J. Jones. However, five candidates had submitted their names for sheriff ahead of Wednesday's meeting.

Randy Tyree withdrew his name on Tuesday, saying he believed Jones already had the necessary votes. However, Tyree attended a candidate forum only the night before.

And Carl Seider, a former write-in candidate for sheriff, wanted a federal judge to order a special election to fill the 12 Knox County offices that were term-limited.

However, Judge Thomas Varlan ruled Tuesday that he couldn't order a special election or an injunction because the issue was already decided when state officials determined that Tennessee law doesn't allow for a special election. 

Ironically, Seider had not formally entered his name as a candidate for sheriff in the appointment process.

6 News Reporter Amelia Daniels contributed to this report.

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