Commissioner Shouse, former commish Luethold apply for trustee

Commissioner Shouse, former commissioner Luethold apply for trustee job

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"I like that work, I worked in big numbers, high finance all my life. I was an asset manager of a railroad, I was a corporate trustee for a bank for 10 years," said Ed Shouse. "I like that work, I worked in big numbers, high finance all my life. I was an asset manager of a railroad, I was a corporate trustee for a bank for 10 years," said Ed Shouse.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - More candidates are vying to be the next Knox County Trustee.

Earlier this month, John Duncan III pleaded guilty to official misconduct and resigned as trustee.

The charge and plea agreement stem from a bonus Duncan gave himself as part of a continuing education program back in 2010 and 2011 after $60,000 in bonuses were awarded to Duncan and six other employees for taking online courses that hadn't been completed.

After weeks of speculation, a current and a former Knox County Commissioner are both applying for the position.

Commissioner Ed Shouse tells 6News Saturday he has decided to apply for the position.

Shouse says he will submit his resume to Commission on Monday, the deadline for applicants to submit resumes. 

"I like that work, I worked in big numbers, high finance all my life. I was an asset manager of a railroad, I was a corporate trustee for a bank for 10 years," said Shouse. 

Former Knox County Commissioner Craig Leuthold tells 6News he submitted his resume for the position Friday.

Leuthold served on commission for six years and has worked in the trustee's office for 16 years, notably working as a supervisor overseeing five trustee satellite office operations.

Since 2011, Leuthold has worked as a Public Information Director for the Knox County Property Assessor's office.

"I bring a unique set of experience to this position, with having worked in the trustee's office, and the property assessors. It's very important these two offices are working together," said Leuthold.  

Kristin Phillips, a 20-year Trustee's Office worker is the interim emergency successor. Phillips lives in Anderson County, not Knox County, which makes her ineligible to apply.  

As of Friday, 17 people have applied for the position, which will be appointed by Knox County Commissioners at its July 22nd meeting.  

The appointee would serve until the 2014 election and would be eligible to serve two terms. 

Both Shouse and Leuthold think they have experience for the job, and they also agree the office is in need of a shakeup.  

Even before Duncan resigned from office, the office has been mired in scandal. Former Trustee Mike Lowe was indicted by a grand jury for paying money to ghost employees. 

"It needs some stability, and needs someone who will run it like a business and run with integrity," said Shouse.  

Some commissioners previously expressed they want rather appoint someone not interested in running in 2014 to avoid politicizing the appointment.  

Shouse says he would run in 2014 if appointed. If commissioners appoint Shouse for Trustee, his vacated commission seat would be appointed by commissioners until the primary election in April 2014.  

Former Trustee Fred Sisk, who served from 2007 to 2010 applied. So did Bill Curtis, a trustee office employee since 2010.  

Commission Vice Chairman R. Larry Smith told 6News he won't pursue the seat, even though it was rumored he might.  

The deadlines for applications are Monday at noon, right before a public hearing and formal interview process.  

Commissioners are expected to vote on an appointment during its July 22nd meeting.

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