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602 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
A friend sent me an article written by Rikki Hall in the April 1 Metro Pulse [“Same As the Old Boss,” Sideways Glance] that is completely devoid of any facts except that the money people (downtown politicians) are behind Burchett just like they were behind Ragsdale. In no way will I ever apologize for being a Christian and having support from churches, or for those who support me.
I worked my way up from a process server to policeman to sheriff, all to serve the citizens of this county. I made my career on the ability to keep the neighborhoods safe, being able to solve crimes, save tax dollars (over $15 million turned back in while sheriff), and building up and managing one of the largest law enforcement agencies in Tennessee. I left office without scandals or lobster lunches and never stole money by abusing purchase cards. The contempt referred to in the article while I was Sheriff was about my signing a document prepared by the county lawyers. They told me that the judge ordered me to sign it. I did sign under objection and was later found in contempt in my official capacity. While I was sheriff, we never refused to inform Commission how much drug money was confiscated. To the contrary, the Commission had to approve a separate drug expenditure budget from the total drug revenues.
The helicopters were free from the Department of Defense 1033 Program. No horse farm was ever purchased or any other real estate with drug-fund monies. The firing range was built with inmate labor and seized drug monies rather than taxpayer monies. The Justice Center was not proposed by me but by then County Executive Tommy Shumpert and the money was approved by County Commission. It was later canceled due to a movement to “educate the prisoners rather than lock them up.” I stated then that it wouldn’t work and we see now that it did not.
I was at the Sheriff’s Office for 33 years and I had one business investment with two other people that occurred one month before I left office after being elected five times. A car dealership was purchased just prior to the worst economic downturn in 80 years. One year later, I sold my stock. I never worked at or had anything to do with management of the dealership. As for as nudging Scott Moore into politics, my experience with him is that he makes up his own mind. The only one I recall suggesting to run for office was Tony Norman to run against Wanda Moody. I have NEVER done any business transactions with any county commissioner past or present.
These are the facts. You might consider calling and getting the facts next time you want to trash someone in order to write a backhanded endorsement for someone else.