Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Moore and Bolus and Smith, oh my!

If Knox County Commissioner Larry Smith is to be believed, both Commission Chairman Scott Moore and County Commissioner Charles Bolus perjured themselves on the witness stand when they both said that Commissioner Bolus' early swearing in was of his own initiative and that it was not part of a larger plan by Commissioner Moore to insure that the final vote of the day on January 31 went his way.

“As I was walking to my seat, Commissioner Moore said, ‘We have this taken care of now,’ ” Smith said. “I looked over and saw Bolus seated next to me.”

After both Moore and Bolus swore up and down that Bolus' early swearing-in was entirely of Bolus' initiative, and that Chairman Moore did not even know about Bolus' swearing in until it occurred, it is quite clear that between Moore, Bolus, or Smith, one or more of the three men is lying.

Up to this point in the trial, I have attempted to keep an extremely open mind, willing to concede that Commissioners were giving as good as they got. In our hurry to see justice done, perhaps East Tennesseans were too quickly levying judgment upon the Commission because there are provisions of the Open Meetings Act that raise a series of constitutional questions as they relate to both free speech and privacy rights. However, Smith's testimony makes it very hard to keep one's mind open toward Moore and Bolus when it is becomes increasingly more difficult to disprove that they were not involved in a larger conspiracy to appoint who they pleased without public input and that the submission of resumes by the larger public was a facade that gave the appearance of openness.

“I was disappointed in commissioners at that meeting.,” he said. “They knew what they wanted to do. They didn’t make any notes. They walked off when candidates walked onto the stage. I thought it was disrespectful.”

“I strongly did not like that,” Smith said. “I was disappointed in the way this was handled. It was like they were in a hurry to get out. I was like, ‘We need to take the time.’ ”

Some of the Commissioners who were at the January 31 meeting have accused the local press, and especially the News-Sentinel of such a strong bias and slant that they are simply incapable of seeing the Commissioners' side. Testimony over the last three days is beginning to present that side, and there isn't much the News-Sentinel could have ever done to make that side look terribly good at this point.



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