Knox County Parks & Rec employee fired, another suspended after caught doing side work on county time

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One Knox County Parks and Recreation employee has been fired, while another is suspended after they were caught doing side work on county time.

“As I’ve said before, ethics are not ambiguous. We have safeguards in place to help employees in bad situations and they are ethically bound to use them when appropriate,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. “I hate to see anyone be reprimanded or lose their job, but public trust is fragile and I truly believe Knox County and its team members must be above reproach.”

Gary Edsell, listed as Plumber 2, was let go from that position on Dec. 15, according to a separation noticed filed with the state. Edsell was also reprimanded in 2017, after taking home a county-owned chainsaw without permission. The missing chainsaw led to a police investigation.

Joseph Inman, whose position was not given in the paperwork, was suspended for 10 days without pay. Inman will return to work in January at a reduced rate of $24.9498 per hour, according to a county employment change document.

The men’s activities were uncovered during an investigation launched in October. A complaint was filed about the unauthorized use of a county-owned golf cart and a claim that county employees were working at private residences while on the clock for the county.

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs says the state comptroller’s investigation is ongoing, but the county decided to make personnel changes based on what they’ve already learned.

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