Don Wiser, who took out a petition for Sheriff and Register of Deeds. Returned the petition for Register of Deeds. Yesterday morning I talked with Wiser and yesterday afternoon received the press release by way of email. Mike Donila had the press release and can read his take at Screams From the Porch, here. After the press release, I have a few comments and additional information. So, scroll on down.
On 20 February 2014, I was forced to make a decision as to what course I was to travel in an endeavor to bring the honest and efficient government that the citizens of Knox County rightly deserve and to which they are entitled under the Constitutions of the United States, the State of Tennessee and the Knox County Charter.
But the road to the office of Knox County Sheriff is blocked with unconstitutional barriers that cry out for justice as surely as did the poll tax in times gone by. A small county Peace Officer Standards and Training certified jailor with three years’ service and a GED qualifies as a candidate for sheriff.
The law requiring candidates for sheriff to be POST certified for three of the last 10 years is an unconstitutional, incumbent protection measure written to exclude qualified opponents. It denies my constitutional right to run for sheriff even though I am a career police officer, had 24 years of POST certification, and served as a POST commissioner.
I am an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Navy and hold a BS in criminal justice from East Tennessee State University and an M.S. plus 40 hours in Health and Safety Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I have also completed 2 years of law school at Nashville School of Law. I have been a Criminal Justice instructor at Walters State Community College, an administrator at a treatment program at Mountain View Youth Development Center in Dandridge, have taken a course in FBI Instructor Development and attended the Tennessee Correctional Academy along with numerous related police schools and training for Drug and Alcohol Counseling. But under this unconstitutional and downright unconscionable law, I am not qualified to be a candidate for sheriff.
After this roadblock (I will still pursue this injustice) the road to the Register of Deeds will be taken which will place me in a role to be a voice for fairness to employees and less Government. In addition to my educational background,(Law School) I have 6 years as a field auditor with the Trustee’s Office and private sector experience in land management. Unlike the incumbent sheriff and register of deeds, who hand out promotions based on the good ol’ boy system, I understand company needs and people needs and the need for accountability and transparency in government.
The Hutchison-Moore Machine conceived both Jimmy “JJ” Jones and Sherry Witt on Black Wednesday. They were appointed, then unappointed by the court, elected for a term, reelected for a second term and are now running for the third time. If my math serves me right this will be three terms, not the two that the law allows. I will bring to the table a plan to save Millions of tax payers money(Jones not affected pays no property tax only spent foolishly and takes) and have a more efficient operation.
Personally, I regret that Sherry Witt has become the public official to face Wiser. It seems that instead of pursuing legal action on term limits (if that is Wiser’s intent) he would instead challenge the POST Commission. It seems from his press release that there is more of a anti Sheriffs Department sentiment and addressing that as a candidate for Register of Deeds is confusing.
In an effort of full disclosure: I have been informed that Mr. Wiser has two sons that are employed for various Knox County offices. One son, I am told works ultimately under Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett at Engineering and Public Works under the direction of Dwight Van de Vate the Director of Engineering and Public Works. The other son I am told works for Knox County Property Assessor Phil Ballard. Which is interesting. Because Interim (County Commission Appointed) Trustee Candidate Craig Leuthold is an immediate past employee of the Property Assessors Office. Rodney Lane, Seventh District County Commission Candidate is an employee of the Property Assessors Office. Additionally, one of the children of a high ranking Knox County Republican Party Official is an employee of the Property Assessors Office. It seems that Property Assessors office is reaching for positions anywhere and everywhere it can.
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