Knox County employee suspended for making threats

Knox County employee suspended for making threats against commissioner

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David Cox (source: Public Building Authority) David Cox (source: Public Building Authority)
Knox County Commissioner Amy Broyles (source: Knox County Commission) Knox County Commissioner Amy Broyles (source: Knox County Commission)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A county employee has been suspended after admitting to sending threatening emails to Knox County Commissioner Amy Broyles.

David Cox, 45, who works in the county internal audit office, has been placed on administrative leave.

An investigation by the sheriff's office says Cox allegedly sent Broyles three emails with a threatening tone from anonymous email addresses, though no specific threats were given.

The messages were sent from two different addresses, but they had similarities.

Cox admits he sent the messages. He told 6 News they were harmless and contained "no threat whatsoever."

"It got blown out of proportion," Cox said. "I apologize to Ms. Broyles and hope we can get past this and move on."

Hammond said steps are being taken to terminate the employee.

Commissioner Broyles issued a statement to 6 News saying she did not want to see Cox fired.

"I was informed that this person would be given the opportunity to resign," Broyles said. "I voiced my concern over the effect all of this would have on his family, and reiterated that I did not want him to lose his job. It was made very clear to me that this decision was the responsibility of Human Resources and the Commission Chair, and that his actions made it impossible for him to remain a county employee."

Broyles added that it is "absolutely inexcusable for citizens to threaten or stalk public officials."

"This has been terribly stressful on my entire family," she said.

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