October 19, 2021

Merit System Council to review demotion of KCSO captain

Brad Hall was the chief of detectives until Sheriff Tom Spangler demoted him in August.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – A community panel that oversees the management of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and employee practices agreed to hear a call from a demoted veteran captain on Monday.

The date of the meeting has yet to be fixed.

Council members Jim Jennings, Jim Wright Jr. and Regina Oster unanimously agreed to hear the case from Captain Brad Hall. They met briefly on Monday afternoon to review his claim in downtown Andrew Johnson Building in the county.

The Knox County Legal Director’s Office argued that Hall lacked standing to appeal because he was a probationary employee when he was promoted to captain. He had been head of detectives, from which he had been promoted in early May.

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Jennings said in the specially convened meeting on Monday that he had no opinion on the merits of Hall’s case.

“I’m certainly open-minded about this, but I certainly think the employees should be heard,” said the president.

Jennings said he was not ready to act on Monday. He said he wanted more time to understand the issues Hall raised.

The Merit System Council, he said, is “a buffer to ensure that employees are given due process.”

The council is appointed by the Knox County Commission.

Hall and his attorney Scott Lanzon attended Monday’s brief meeting, as did Carleton Bryant, a longtime attorney in the sheriff’s office.

Hall worked for almost 30 years for the sheriff’s office, distinguishing himself as an investigator.

In April, an internal KCSO investigation found that Hall and his friend, Lt. KCSO Denver Scalf, spent a Friday night off duty drinking. They met in the old town.

Hall, the investigation later found, insisted on driving his county vehicle. Scalf said he was not fit to drive. The men got into a fight, though both denied it was anything serious. A witness saw them fight.

Hall’s wife called friend and KCSO spokesperson Kimberly Glenn for help. They expressed concerns about Hall’s alcohol consumption.

Glenn’s husband Jerry, a part-time fire investigator, found the men and took Hall and eventually home.

Glenn joined Scalf and they brought Hall’s vehicle back to the City County Building.

Hall was promoted shortly thereafter to Chief Detective.

Participants did not say anything about what happened for weeks, the investigation showed, although Glenn quietly recorded his April conversation with Ms Hall.

In July, KCSO administrators questioned Scalf and Hall as news of the incident began to leak. But the men said they were only involved in heckling and made up a story about giving a man $ 40 for gasoline money in the Old Town.

Investigation later showed that the men actually gave the man money for the damage caused in the brawl over his vehicle’s rearview mirror.

Glenn stepped forward, writing a long memo about his role in what had happened. She said she shouldn’t have been silent.

As a result of the investigation, Hall was demoted. Scalf received two days pay and reassigned. Glenn received a written reprimand. Captain David Amburn, whom Glenn had called for assistance in locating Hall’s vehicle, received an oral reprimand, as was Jerry Glenn.

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