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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Smallwood files an appeal
Former Cocke County Fire Chief William Smallwood has filed an appeal to the February dismissal of his federal lawsuit against Cocke County Mayor Crystal Ottinger and the county. The appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals was filed Thursday by Smallwood's attorney Thomas C. Jessee. In March 2017, Cocke County Mayor Crystal Ottinger announced that she had terminated Smallwood The mayor pointed to alleged incidents of sexual harassment, workplace violence and harassment at the Fire Department and she charged that the chief "refused all remedial action", resulting in his termination. Mayor Ottinger and members of the fire department, which she supervises, have had an ongoing conflict, culminating more recently in the firing of Fire Captain/County Commissioner Clayton "Skip" Ellison. The termination came after Ellison was indicted by a Cocke County Grand Jury which had heard testimony from Emergency Management Director Kevin Benton, who charged Ellison with stalking. The conflicts between firefighters, the County Legislative Body(CLB) and Mayor Ottinger have escalated since the CLB voted in June, 2016, to appoint a civil service board to oversee the fire department's operations. The mayor says the board is illegal suggesting there is no provision in state law for such a board. In his ruling dismissing the lawsuit, Judge Curtis Collier held that in Tennessee, local governments may exercise only those powers granted them by the state legislature. "In fact, the Cocke County Commission did precisely what the Tennessee General Assembly expressly forbade it from doing when it voted to create the civil service board(CSB). Because Tennessee law expressly prohibits local governments from establishing systems of classified service, the Court finds the CSB was improperly formed and therefore null."


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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

  • Moore arrest
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    Saturday, January 19, 2019

  • Broadway work wrapping up
  • Some Smokies open over the holiday
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  • Unemployment benefits for federal workers
  • Bill Lee on issues

    Thursday, January 17, 2019

  • Graham home destroyed
  • Four inmates charged with assault
  • Cocke Circuit Court
  • Hepatitis C cases increasing in Tennessee

    Wednesday, January 16, 2019

  • Trouten/Franklin
  • Lane sentencing
  • The Wall
  • Hang up the phone..... while driving
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    Tuesday, January 15, 2019

  • Cocke County Finance Committee
  • Warrants issued by Cocke County Circuit Court
  • A thru Z theft
  • VW to expand in Tennessee
  •    

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