Knox County mayor’s chief of staff resigns, Parks and Rec director fired amid misconduct investigation

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Two employees in the Office of Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs have left their positions amid an investigation into potential misconduct.

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs has accepted Chief of Staff Bryan Hair’s resignation and dismissed Senior Director of Parks and Recreation Paul White. White declined the opportunity to resign, according to a release from the mayor’s office.

The two were placed on administrative leave last week after the mayor was made aware of potential wrongdoing.

“Ethics are not ambiguous, and it is important that Knox County be above reproach,” said Mayor Jacobs. “Public trust is fragile. I encourage all parties involved to cooperate with the Comptroller’s investigation regardless of employment status.”

Knox County Finance Director and Deputy Chief of Staff Chris Caldwell on Wednesday asked for a meeting with the State Comptroller’s Office, which has since been accepted. The Comptroller’s Office will share their findings with Knox County when the investigation is complete. Once received, Mayor Jacobs may take further action if needed.

Hair released a statement Thursday night regarding the investigation, claiming he borrowed a county-owned golf cart to use at his home while his wife recovered from a broken foot. “This was not only a mistake on my part, but a lapse in judgment.  It was not wise for me to borrow something that belongs to the citizens of Knox County, and for that, I’m deeply sorry,” Hair said.

Dwight Van de Vate and Chris Caldwell will continue sharing Chief of Staff duties. Chuck James and Shauna Godlevsky will oversee Parks and Recreation operations. Godlevsky currently serves as Parks Planning & Development Manager. James currently serves as Director of Parks.

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