Sunday, June 20, 2010

Knox County Commission to Appoint Interim Law Director Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning, Monday June 21, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. or at the conclusion of the Knox County Commission Finance Committee meeting the Knox County Commission will meet to interview and conduct a public forum for the purpose of then selecting the interim Knox County law director. At this point the interim will serve until the next election which is slated for 2012.

At the deadline there were three candidates that applied. Current Interim Knox County Law Director and the Chief Deputy Knox County Law Director from September 2008 until April 2010 Joe Jarrett, Knoxville Attorney David L. Buuck, Attorney James C. Shastid. A late filing by former Democrat candidate for Law Director and Knoxville Attorney George T. Underwood, Jr.

Let's examine the late filing first. If the Knox County Commission chooses to consider him, here is his background. He ran as the Democrat nominee for Knox County Law Director in 2000, he states that he is still interested. He cites that he was preparing for a jury trial and missed the Commission's June 11, 2010 deadline. He filed his resume on Monday June 14, 2010 the next business day. He encourages Commissioners to go to his website located here and to then (click Attorney Profile tab on the top menu bar); then, (click George T. Underwood, Jr.) Underwood has served as an Attorney with Spicer, Rudstrom, PLLC since 2004. He was an Assistant City of Knoxville Attorney for 8 years. He has also served as Assistant District Attorney General in Hamilton County, TN. His 1st year of law school was at Howard University in Washington, DC. He obtained his J.D., from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1986 and was admitted to the Bar in 1988.

James C. Shastid obtained his J.D. in 1973 from the University of Tennessee School of Law. He served in the US Air Force in the European theater from 1955-1959; he served on the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC from 1960-1966; he served as an Accountant, CPA with Ernst & Ernst in Knoxville from 1969-1970; He has been involved in the General practice of law from 1973-2005 in Association with Waggoner, Brasfield and Shastid. He has owned S&G Rents and AJS, Inc. a Rug Doctor licensee in East Tennessee from 1988-2008.

David L. Buuck states in his letter to the Commissioners that he is applying "at the urging of many members of the public and of the local legal community" He completed his degree at the College of Law at the University of Tennessee in 1980. He cites that he began practicing law in 1980 with the firm that included W. Zane Daniel, Glen R. Claiborne, W. Buford Lewallen and John J. Duncan, Jr. (now the Second District of Tennessee Congressman) He helped incorporate the Town of Louisville and served as it's Town Attorney for 20 years. He cites his victories of battling the City of Knoxville on annexations, on defeating the attempts by municipalities to usurp the 15 year sales tax moratorium on annexed property. He cites his success in the lawsuit against Knox County regarding the Midway Road rezoning and his success in declaratory lawsuit involving Knox County Charter amendment that resulted in preserving rights of county employees to run for office. He cites his list of References as Honorable John J. Duncan, Jr.; Debbie Poplin, City of Knoxville Law Director; Pete Debusk, CEO DeRoyal Industries and Sam Furrow, Furrow Auction Company.

Joe Jarrett who has been serving as Interim Law Director since April 8, 2010 when then Knox County Law Director Bill Lockett resigned. Jarrett served as Chief Deputy Law Director since September 1, 2008 before that. He served as County Law Director in Polk County, Florida from December 2001-October 2007 (serving as Deputy Law Director from 12/2001-April 2003) Polk County was a Charter form of county government. Jarrett served as Assistant County Law Director in Manatee County Florida from May 1989-August 1993. He received his Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Florida in Ma 1989. Jarrett received his Master of Public Administration from Central Michigan University in August 1983. Jarrett received a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from State University in Troy, Alabama in December 1981. Jarrett received a Graduate Certificate in Public Management from the University of South Florida in May 1996. He has been published in at least 12 different times. He has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Graduate School of Public Administration and an Adjunct Lecturer to at least 12 different entities. Jarrett received an Honorable Discharge from the United States Army for his service from August 1983- June 1986 He served as a Commissioned Combat Officer. He also received an Honorable Discharge from the United States Air Force for his service from August 1975-August 1981. He served as a Special Investigator. He has and is currently serving in at least 11 related
organization. In addition, he is actively involved in 7 other community service organizations. Jarrett provided the Commissioners with a letter of recommendation from Bob English, the Chairman of the Polk County, Fl Board of County Commission.

Now, the political side of tomorrow's appointment. Brian's Blog contacted Knox County Republican Party Chairman Ray H. Jenkins about persistent rumors that he desired to be the next Knox County Law Director. His response indicated that he desired to run for the position during an election. Read the blog post that included his response, here. Several County Commissioners have informed Brian's Blog that several members of the Knox County Republican Party Executive Committee are lobbying for David Buuck. The Commissioners said they are perplexed as to what the current Republican leaders objection to Jarrett is. So, tomorrow morning we will know who the interim Knox County Law Director will be until the 2012 election.

Most people do not realize that the Knox County Law Director's office is a working law firm. It is not simply a position where the Law Director walks around so that everyone kisses his or her ring. The Knox County Commission can not go wrong with Joe Jarrett as the Interim Knox County Law Director. After all he has been doing the job for nearly 18 months anyway.

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