Wednesday January 11, 2023 the Knox County Merit Council for Sheriffs Employees Board of Directors met for the second time. At this time they organized the leadership. They have operated since November 18, 2022 (this meeting) without a vice chair as mandated by the County Commission restructure approved this past fall.
The election for Chair (on 1/11/23) was a 5-2 vote for Chris Manning (a retired law enforcement officer from California). The election for Vice Chair went to John Valliant, a Knoxville Attorney in a 4-3 vote. Four votes for Valliant, three votes were for Kenny Boatman while the new Chair Manning nominated John Marshall, no votes were cast for Marshall.
The council went on to discus 4 grievances some that have been lingering for almost 3 years. Two were handled rather easily and quickly, One the person has not left their forwarding information and have not been located. Another, Knox County Law Department Attorney Houston Havasty reported the other legal counsel has said they will not proceed. It was dismissed pending a filing by the Attorney of the former officer.
The next two were not as easy, one is set for a hearing in March and the other a hearing in April. More on those later.
County Commissioner Gina Oster of the Third District and County Commissioner at large “seat 10” NOT Kim Frazier at large Seat 11 were in attendance.
The meeting was a tad comedic, with the Chair making motion(s), withdrawing motion(s). Then there was Law Department Attorney Myers Morton referencing the former Merit Board and Judges that have died and how you get a trial when a Judge has died. Of course the thought went through my mind, after two years, the Commission killed the old board. Oh Well.
Fortunately the Board Vice Chair Attorney John Valliant was doing legal research on the dime (on his computer) and cautioned the Board to take time.
The Sheriff was there to request lowering the eligible hiring age for Corrections Officers from 19-18. That apparently passed I am told as I had to leave.
In unrelated to Merit Council fodder, No word on if the two inmates that walked off work release earlier this week have been located. Also, it is unclear, if there were any KCSO restaurant discount cards for after the meeting, if you can not take a political joke, (the discount cards) then that is on you.
The meeting can be watched here.