Knox County Merit System for Employees of KCSO, Sheriffs Office and County Commission Kumbaya Meeting 12/1/2020 • frustration with the job has never been higher among Officers

Last night, the Knox County Merit System for Employees of the KCSO, Knox County Sheriffs Office and the Knox County Commission Kumbaya meeting happened.


The audio in the room was low, actually it was so low that it sucked. I don’t know if it was intentional or if the Public Building Authority in managing the building doesn’t know the audio system sucks.

Last night the Committee reviewed the KCSO Organizational Chart, the employment process flow chart and an employment timeline.

Lt. Gabe Mullinax, an employee Representative on the committee said that among the employees of the Sheriffs Office, frustration with the job is greater than it’s ever been.

KCSO HR Director Lysette Aviles,  wants to move the scheduling of the psychological testing (which is performed by Helen Ross McNabb and the budget line item in the KCSO budget). Merit Council Member Gina Oster said that the liability is with the Merit System and its Council and the Council likely won’t agree to that. Commissioner Larsen Jay asked that while the budget line item for the psychological is with KCSO, doesn’t it make sense for them to schedule it? My observation is if that is the basis for the administrative move of scheduling, then move the budget line item for Helen Ross McNabb to the Merit System.

Commissioner Courtney Durrett and Citizen Representative Scott Broyles appear to understand that the need for the Merit System to exist is to remove the politics of cronyism and unfair hiring practices of employees. As Durrett said, supporting the Merit System tells the Officers and employees of KCSO that we support them.

Chief Purvis (filling in for Mike Ruble) last night in attempting to support Aviles said that KCSO and the Merit System would communicate and work through this together, meaning the task of the psychological testing. This committee was formed because they were not communicating.

The bottom line (in my humble opinion and as a former Merit System Council Member) is the scheduling of the psychological testing and other pre-employment needs to remain with the Merit System, because if there is an applicant that the Sheriff or an Administrator of KCSO does not want, those pre-employment tasks will never be scheduled.

The Merit System exists to remove the politics of cronyism and favoritism from ruling the day and employment of employees.

Because if two employees are at the same position, same experience and same time of service, yet one is paid more than another, that injustice is wrong and the Merit System is in place to correct it.

Put me with the women and men of the department, I don’t care who the Sheriff is today or in the future, I am with the women and men on the front lines of Corrections, Patrol and anything else.

I served on the Merit System in like 1998-2000 and was appointed to the Knox County Commission Jail Inspection Committee from 1994-1998, I have seen Corrections inside and out and I feel through Merit System Council I have a good grasp of the other aspects of Knox County Sheriffs Department.



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