Is Loudon County DA Breaking New Ground?

A couple years ago, actually on October 8, 2017 I posted this about Knox County Commissioner at Large Ed Brantley selling his property and the rumor he had moved out of the county. Two days later, WBIR had this story about the same subject. Then on January 28, 2018, another Knoxville area blog weighed in with this story.

Of course, Justin Biggs won the May 2018 Republican Primary and the August 2018 General Election for the seat Brantley occupied. So, Brantley left office on August 31, 2018, with Biggs taking over.

On August 21, 2019, I posted this story about a TBI Agent circulating around Loudon County, TN. TBI Director David Rausch confirmed to me by email that the agent is indeed an agent. He referred me to DA Russell Johnson for any additional information on what the TBI was investigating. I emailed Johnson but it bounced back. I text messaged Johnson at a number I was given and got no response.

Last week, Loudon County Commissioner and blogger Van Shaver posted on his blog site here about a letter from Johnson that was addressed to Commissioner Hurley’s legal counsel BUT sent to the Loudon County Commission Chairman.

Shaver points out that the letter misidentifies the street of the property that Hurley reportedly owns in Loudon’s Fifth Commission District. She still owns property in Loudon’s Second District. It begs to question, was it the TBI or the DAs office that missed the actual, factual location of the subject property in the Fifth District?

Additional questions that occurred to me in reading the letter Shaver posted that Johnson supposedly authored and signed include how did the District Attorney miss the March 3, 2020 Election Date? In the initial letter (which I posted below) it reads Election March 2, 2020. Hurley is NOT likely to vote on March 2, 2020, so what is Johnson saying? Additionally, Johnson authors that Hurley holds herself out as a real estate “provisional” was his intent real estate “professional”?

It is interesting that Johnson a former State Rep, acknowledges that an ouster suit would be extensive. Since this issue was brought to the Commission by Shaver in May, many people including Representatives of CTAS acknowledge that moves that are temporary are permissible. Johnson acknowledges in his letter that a Loudon County Judge moved himself out of the county to Knox County, although it was temporary. What is temporary? 6 months? 18 months? 24 months?

It seems logical (after reading the letter) to me that Johnson is wanting the legislature to define this issue for the state. Is Hurley’s issue one to define state law?

The real issue voiced to me by source(s) in the state Republican party is that this a partisan issue. Hurley defeated a longtime Democrat Commissioner. Locally the Democrat to many observers was a go along, get along. While Hurley is a Republican that has challenged the status quo. Specifically, I’ve been told Shaver and Hurley have been on different sides of a few issues.

If Hurley were to vacate (which I would say, it ain’t worth it to fight this alone, if I were her) it is likely that the Commission will appoint the former Democrat Commissioner Earlena Maples.

Residency has been a political issue for years, in Knox County, Dr. Richard Briggs win over State Senator Stacey Campfield it was an issue. While Briggs lives in an apartment, miles away from a home that his wife owns in a neighboring state senate district.The winner of a third district Knox County School Board never took the oath of office in 2004 due to a similar political allegation.

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1 Response

  1. John R says:

    Thank you for real reporting.