KCSO captain appeals demotion to merit system

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Hall lost his new job as Chief Detective in August after an investigation into an April incident in the Old Town.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – Having heard no response from his boss, a captain in the Knox County Sheriff’s Office is now turning to the Sheriff’s Office Merit System Board for help challenging his demotion.

Sheriff Tom Spangler demoted Brad Hall from the post of Chief Detective, to which he had just been promoted in May, in August. Deputy Chief Bernie Lyon also sent the veteran of criminal investigations to the juvenile division and suspended him without pay for two days.

Hall filed a grievance which was rejected by Lyon. In September, he took the grievance to Spangler.

Hall’s attorney Scott Lanzon, however, said Spangler did not respond.

“… I appeal to you because it has been 16 calendar days since my appeal was filed and no response has been received,” Hall’s Oct. 10 letter to the merit system reads.

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The merit system is independent of the sheriff’s office. Its board of directors reviews employee grievances and the system office maintains employee performance records.

In April, while off duty, Hall got into a brawl with a longtime friend and KCSO Lt. Denny Scalf, according to an internal investigation.

Scalf feared Hall was too drunk to drive his departmental SUV. Hall’s wife appealed to department spokeswoman Kimberly Glenn for help. Les Hall and Glenn and her husband, Jerry, were friends at the time.

Glenn recorded his conversation with Hall’s wife. Glenn’s husband picked up Hall and drove him home. Glenn and Scalf drove Hall’s vehicle to the department headquarters at the City County Building.

No one at the time disclosed what happened that night. Hall was officially promoted a few days later.

However, the rumor of the brawl was leaked and senior administrators in the department started asking questions.

Hall and Scalf denied anything substantial had happened and said they were just heckling.

The administrators had doubts.

Then, in July, Glenn wrote a note explaining his version of what happened that April night in the Old Town. She regretted not reporting it sooner.

Hall denied that anything important had happened. Investigators determined that he could not remember much of the night’s events.

Besides Hall’s demotion to captain, the department suspended Scalf for two days and reassigned him. Glenn received a written reprimand and her husband Jerry Glenn, a part-time fire investigator, received an oral reprimand.

Captain David Amburn, whom Glenn had turned to for help that night, also received an oral reprimand.

Spangler declined to discuss the matter other than releasing this statement: “It’s unfortunate that this incident happened. Once I found out, I took the necessary corrective action.”


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