Saturday, August 04, 2007

Knox Dem Chairman Is Conflicted In His Call On Commissioner's To Resign

The Knox County Democrat Party Chairman Don Daugherty from everything that I have seen is a decent guy. In todays News-Sentinel he is calling of County Commissioners Luethold and Tramel to resign.

As the Immediate Past Chairman of the Knox County Republican Party I understand that sometimes you have to ask questions and do things that you may personally be uncomfortable with, but that's your job.

As Chairman I led the Knox County GOP to a countywide sweep in 2006. Retaining all countywide positions. We lost one County Commission district race. The Commission appointed a Republican to the other district seat on January 31, 2007.

Don is calling on two Commissioners to resign their county jobs. Craig Leuthold an employee of the Knox County Trustee office and Lee Tramel a longtime employee of the Sheriffs Department. Don is not calling on the school employee to resign. He says “Educators, I put them in a little bit different place" The reason Don puts Educators in a different place is because his brother Michael Leon is a Bearden High School teacher and a two time candidate for the Third district Commission seat.

Both times Leon's residency became an issue. It has been alleged that Leon and his wife reside in a home they jointly own in the Seventh district but he used his mother's address in the Third district as their home. Don was the Chairman for Leon's last campaign, thus the reason he places educators are in a little bit different place.

As for the merits to his request. Craig Leuthold when first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006 was open about his employment in the Trustee office. The voters have overwhelmingly elected and re-elected him. Don's party has never even fielded a candidate against Craig Leuthold.

Lee Tramel has been a Sheriffs Department administrator for many years. The News-Sentinel has printed the fact that Tramel is a Sheriffs Department administrator nearly every week since January 31, 2007.

Sharon Cawood received the Juvenile Court Clerk's Supervisor position less than 55 days before being appointed to County Commission. Her husband, former Commissioner Mark Cawood a Democrat, received a position prior to his last day of County Commission service. With a reasonable conclusion the case can be made that Mark's actions were clearly a violation of the County's Conflict of Interest policy.


Don Daugherty said...

Brian: I appreciate the kind words. I stand by my request. Leuthold and Tramel did not go to school for 18 years to teach our children. That's public service and I admire educators - including Chuck Bolus and Tony Norman - for making that commitment. The point is not that Leuthold and Tramel didn't tell voters where they worked, obviously they did. The problem is as political appointees, they are in an altogether different circumstance than teachers. I'm extremely proud of Tony Norman - not because he retired as a teacher - but because he, more than any other Commissioner, represented his constituents well on January 31 and since. Sure, I supported Leon last year against Tony, but Tony has stood head and shoulders above most of the others. It's about the appearance of impropriety. As political appointees, Leuthold and Tramel simply can't escape that one overriding concern.

Brian Hornback said...

Thanks for reading and for commenting.

I would hope that you would support Leon 1) he is your brother and 2) he is a Democrat.

From my experience representing BHS on the school board in the past, Leon is a good guy and a great educator.

I admire Tony Norman's service, he has made a lasting impact on the generations for 3 decades.

As for Tramel and Leuthold. The voters can decide and they will.