Who Is Bill Cole?

Some of the continued fallout from the 911 Board Meeting on Friday is still trickling out. Hubert Smith, host of the CTV One on One with Hubert Smith and host of The Hubert Smith Radio Show on WUTK The Rock 90.3 FM asked in an email I received this morning, who is Bill Cole?

Bill Cole is the “citizen representative” and Chairman of the 911 boards Finance Commitee. Cole led the discussion about the board exploring the option of tying into the State of TN radio system. The discussion ultimately led to the postponement of the Harris contract.

First before the meeting I overheard Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett say that he and Bill Cole are neighbors. Using KGIS, it seems their residences are 3891.2 feet as the crow flies. Based on some additional minimal research this morning. I have discovered this link from September 2004, where Mr. Cole had some authority with Knox County Homeland Security, this would have been at the direction of Former Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale. Then I found this link for a 2011 contract and this link to a 2014-2015 contract with Knox County, this would have been at the direction of Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett.

Sources indicate that former Ragsdale staffer Mike Cohen, who operates Cohen Communications is the lobbyist for Motorola in the Knox County 911 proposal. In addition, it has been rumored that Ragsdale’s firm TN Strategies represents Motorola, not on this Knox County proposal but in other transactions.

Mr. Cole being a citizen representative could be in question, as he is operating on a 2014-2015 contract with Knox County. Clearly, it seems he should have disclosed his past relationship with Ragsdale, Cohen Burchett and Knox County. But that could and would be a determination by a court of proper jurisdiction.

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