A vigorous lobbying effort to stop Knox County Commission from naming Joe Jarrett as law director failed last week. Jarrett, who had been deputy for the ousted Bill Lockett, will serve out the term as the incumbent and is set up to run for the post. He says he will run.
The wrangling involved trying to get the job for David Buuke, who lives in Blount County, and wouldn’t be able to run for the job unless he moved. Buuke has made himself a lot of friends defending property owners in annexation lawsuits. The effort to stop Jarrett appears to have been orchestrated by Knox County Republican Party chair Ray Jenkins. Jenkins has made no secret of the fact that he wants to run for the job. The law director post has often been a good platform from which to run for judge, as per former law directors Judge Dale Workman and Judge Mike Moyers. Jenkins’ father was the late Judge Ray Jenkins.
The knock on Jarrett mostly consisted of “he ain’t from around here.” A former military lawyer, Jarrett worked in a law department in Florida before he and his wife moved to Knoxville. He applied for a job in the law director’s office and Lockett hired him. He has a 30-year career in public service, but he still ain’t from around here.