Statement released by Knox County staffer on leave for investigation into misconduct

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knox County Mayor’s Office staffer on leave for a misconduct investigation says he had a lapse in judgment in borrowing a county owned golf cart after his wife broke her foot.

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs’ chief of staff Bryan Hair released a statement Thursday night regarding his administrative leave during an investigation into “potential wrongdoing” this week.

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs’ chief of staff Bryan Hair and senior director of parks and recreation Paul White were placed administrative leave, effective Tuesday, Oct. 13, after the mayor was made aware of potential wrongdoing.

External auditing firm Pugh CPA was brought in to investigate the claims. The investigation could take several weeks.

Below is the statement released Thursday night:

“Towards the end of May, my wife broke her foot and I reached out to Parks & Rec to see if they had a cart I could borrow that was not being used. I was aware they had recently purchased carts for both Recreation and to use at the Festival of Lights to allow constituents that were unable to walk the paths, the ability to ride. I was told that they were not being used at the time since recreation was shutdown due to Covid so I borrowed the cart and used it through the summer until her foot healed and then returned it to Parks & Rec.

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.”

Bryan Hair, chief of staff, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs’ Office

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