Embattled Knox County School Board member Bill Phillips resigns

Embattled Knox County School Board member Bill Phillips resigns

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Bill Phillips Bill Phillips

By HARLOW SUMERFORD
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Knox County School Board member Bill Phillips, who previously refused official calls for his resignation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault, resigned Monday during an appearance at county commission.

Phillips represented District 8. He told commissioners he should have resigned sooner.

Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre released a statement Monday night that said, "I appreciate the service of Mr. Phillips on the Knox County Board of Education, and respect his decision to resign his seat, as announced at today's county commission meeting."

The Recall Bill Phillips Group was circulating a petition to remove him from office.

Phillips pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault for a December 2008 incident involving an altercation with his wife.

However, he told 6 News a combination of prescription and over-the-counter drugs may have lead to the incident.

In February 2009, the state Department of Safety revoked Phillips's handgun carry permit because of his misdemeanor assault conviction.

That same month, the Knox County Ethics Committee voted to recommend that Phillips resign.

In March 2009, the school board voted unanimously to censure Phillips for his misdemeanor assault conviction. The board also asked him to resign, but he refused, issuing an apology instead.

The recall group had pointed to an incident in 2005 when the sheriff's office was called to Phillips' home as evidence of other problems. The incident report filed October 3, 2005 claims it was a domestic matter, a verbal argument.

Phillips told 6 News in October 2009 he didn't dispute the report, but neither he nor his wife could remember it.


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