Sheriff Jones Rebuts Knox News Sentinel

On the Knox County Sheriffs Office website, Sheriff Jones issued the following statement in response to an editorial position, presumably authored by Scott Barker, Jack McElroy or a joint writing assignment.

Editorial Rebuttal

Tuesday, 17 March 2015
From Sheriff Jimmy “J.J” Jones:

It’s Sunshine Week and the News Sentinel wants its readers to know that it’s time for “a clearing of the skies.” The editorial in Tuesday’s paper isn’t talking about the weather, but the Sunshine Law. A law that the newspaper trotted out when it failed to cover sixteen months’ worth of E-911 meetings concerning a contract for a new digital emergency communications system. The paper had obviously deemed the meetings not worthy of coverage until it was alerted by lobbyists and politicians who had a stake in the radio system.

The editors at the paper believe a “backroom deal” was brokered between Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch and me. I hardly call it a backroom deal when the Police Chief and Sheriff of the third largest law enforcement agencies in the state cannot talk about the safety and security of their officers and citizens.

I am fully aware of the Sunshine Law and that’s why I contend there was no violation between Chief Rausch and me. The newspaper, however, is clearly hiding behind the Sunshine Law to distract from its failure to report on an issue that affects the entire community. I believe the law does need to be revisited when a major media outlet manipulates it to cover up its own inadequacies.

I wish Sheriff Jones would respond to the verbal vomit proffered by E.W. Scripps Shopper writer Betty Bean in tomorrow’s Shopper. But, as she is irrelevant as a stringer for the Shopper and nothing but a mosquito on the local liberal playground of KnoxViews. He is wise to ignore her and just generously apply mosquito repellant.

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