Knox County Commission appoints new interim school board member

Knox County Commission appoints new interim school board member

John Fugate II John Fugate II
Rick Staples Rick Staples
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Tensions ran high after Knox County Commission appointed an interim school board member for the second district during Monday's meeting.

John Fugate II will serve on school board until the November election.

"I do think the puppet masters were at play in this process," Commissioner Sam McKenzie said.

Commissioner Amy Broyles nominated Rick Staples, the person she said her constituents wanted most for the position.

Broyles said she felt commission went against the wishes of the people in her district.

"I am ashamed of this commission,” Broyles said. “This is a tremendous disappointment and frankly it's a slap in the face to every resident in the second district."

Fugate is the vice president of Commercial Bank and a former principal. He received seven votes in his favor during the final vote.

“I've got a yearning for education,” Fugate said. “I felt that I could help in some way and set a different tone for education in the county. I have children that are in education. I have grandchildren that are in schools.”

Staples, a former Knox County sheriff's deputy, came in second bringing in four votes.

"I think Mr. Fugate going forward will listen to the district and what they want and I hope that he's able to communicate with our commissioner Amy Broyles," Staples said.

Broyles and McKenzie called the vote politically motivated but those who voted for Fugate defended their actions.

"I made the best decision I could and frankly I resent any kind of indication that there's some kind of fix," Norman said.

"I voted for who I thought would do the best job and I considered all the candidates," Hammond said.

The second district BOE seat was formerly held by Indya Kincannon until her resignation after her family's decision to move out of the country.

Fugate said he will only serve in the interim and will not run in the November election.

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