Bobby Waggoner, who is running against incumbent J.J. Jones for Knox Co. Sheriff, says he will focus on law enforcement, saying "There is no place for the Sheriff in lobbying Commissioners, Board of Education members or any other elected officials regarding anything other than law enforcement."

Press release after the break...

Waggoner Pledges Law Enforcement Focus

KNOXVILLE, TN – Candidate for Sheriff Bobby Waggoner today pledged that upon being elected Sheriff, he will maintain the focus of the Sheriff's Office on law enforcement and refrain from being involved in non-Sheriff matters.

Incumbent Sheriff Jimmy "JJ" Jones recently sent Chief Deputy Eddie Biggs to appear before the Knox County School Board in support of Superintendent of Schools Jim McIntyre. At a meeting on December 9, 2013, Chief Biggs spoke on Sheriff Jones behalf, as the Board of Education considered a contract extension for the School Superintendent.

"As Sheriff, my priority will be neighborhood safety. I will avoid involving the Sheriff's Office in non-law enforcement matters. There is no place for the Sheriff in lobbying Commissioners, Board of Education members or any other elected officials regarding anything other than law enforcement."

Following Chief Biggs' appearance before the Board of Education, Dr. McIntyre was awarded an extension through 2017, worth a minimum annual salary of $222,800.

Average Guy's picture

Both Waggoner and Hammett

Both Waggoner and Hammett seem to really be going after Jones in earnest.

Are either viable?

Jones is one of those local enigmas that’s hard to figure. Hutchinson can’t get elected dog catcher, yet his hand-picked successor has had no major challenges during his tenure.

And just for clarity, the term limit is for two terms or is it worded two "full" terms?

OldPol's picture

Where was J.J.?

Why didn't he go to the school board meeting himself?
Was it because:
A. He was on the golf course...where he spends weekdays unless it's raining or snowing.
B. He was scooting around town in that pricey new Mustang he bought for himself with taxpayer dollars.
C. He was looking for a new place to party since the Bruin Social Club shut down.
D. He was trying to find another group of human beings to "stack like cord wood in my jail," since that other thing didn't work out for him.

ASummers's picture

school safety

Has Waggoner forgot (or doesn't know) the direct security involvement that KCSO has with the school system? Doesn't the KCSO train all the school resource officers? The sheriff's office is a politically elected position. I just wish it was appointed like the city.

Average Guy's picture


"There is no place for the Sheriff in lobbying Commissioners, Board of Education members or any other elected officials regarding anything other than law enforcement."

OldPol's picture

KCSO trains

KCSO trains school security officers at the request of the school board, regardless of who is serving as superintendent.

Average Guy's picture

Knox County School's SROs are

Knox County School's SROs are not KCSO deputies?

Hildegard's picture

I am no fan of JJ, but that

I am no fan of JJ, but that sounds pretty naive. I don't know what Waggoner means by "lobbying," and to the extent that he can demonstrate how anything the Sheriff is doing qualifies as "lobbying," then I guess that's a legitimate gripe. But this "pledge" seems to equate any active relationship with other governing bodies as "lobbying." The Sheriff is an elected office and for anybody to seriously claim he has no business communicating with County Commissioners or BOE or other governing bodies that, for lots of reasons, necessarily consult with and interact with law enforcement is just unrealistic. A comment below points out why it's impossible not to deal with the BOE on some level, and a lot of County business falling under the purview of the Commission necessarily requires input from the Sheriff (within, of course, the mandates of the Sunshine Law:-) Plus, saying you support a particular institution leader like the Superintendent or a given Commissioner isn't lobbying. Everybody scratches somebody else's back in politics. It's how you get elected. And re-elected. Shouldn't be that way, maybe, but nobody has figured out a way to make it work differently.

Bbeanster's picture

As someone pointed out, KSO

As someone pointed out, KSO will be supplying resource officers regardless of who is superintendent. Chief Rausch was there, too. KPD supplies the officers at schools inside the city limits. What's most likely is that they were responding to a request from some Chamber type to go down and put in a good word for JMac's contract extension (and, by extension, his raise).

The difference between Rausch and JJ is that Rausch serves at the pleasure of the mayor, which caused people to wonder why Madeline would choose to get involved in such a swampy, contentious issue, particularly when she has strong supporters (eg Gloria Johnson) who opposed that contract extension.

This would have been a good one to stay neutral on, and I think it's a fair point for Waggoner.

madelinerogero's picture

To clarify

Hey folks, I want to clarify that I have not taken a position on the school superintendent / board / teachers issues. Had I known ahead of time, I would have advised Chief Rausch not to speak at the board meeting. We have since had that discussion and he now realizes that he inadvertently stepped into a situation in which I and my administration will remain neutral. He intended only to show appreciation for the cooperative relationship that KPD has with the school system and superintendent.

As Knoxville mayor, I work closely and effectively with the superintendent and school board. I also have a close and effective working relationship with State Representative Gloria Johnson and have been a supporter of our teachers for a very long time. As city mayor, I have plenty of my own responsibilities and respectfully defer to the teachers, superintendent, and school board to determine what’s best for our students and school teachers.

Average Guy's picture

Change "city mayor" to "sheriff" and this,

I believe was what Waggoner was trying to say.

As city mayor, I have plenty of my own responsibilities and respectfully defer to the teachers, superintendent, and school board to determine what’s best for our students and school teachers.

Hildegard's picture

Another thing...

One of the reasons why meaningful change is so hard to make happen in this town is that the people who sign up to rock the boat usually try to do so with suggestion and innuendo. Seldom does anybody ever have the balls to call out the person they're going after with specific allegations. And if they do get specific, they always use some three-layered pseudonym so they won't have to be responsible for anything.

If you've got something to say, say it. But if you say it and sign it, "Old Pol," nobody's going to pay attention. Or if you say, "He's lobbying!" without demonstrating actual lobbying, why the hell should anybody listen?

Bird_dog's picture

The Safety Center

Is an example of collaboration between the sheriff and county commission about an issue that is not strictly law enforcement - but a very important on for justice and compassion.

Bbeanster's picture

It's got a LOT to do with

It's got a LOT to do with relieving jail overcrowding.

Randy's picture

Waggoner for Sheriff

I support Bobby. He is honest and straightforward. He is not a good ole boy and he will break the cycle of cronyism that plagues Knox County politics. Now is the time for my fellow Democrats to stand up for the right thing. I said this when I ran against Campfield and it still rings true...If you keep doing things the same way you always have... you will keep getting the same results. Vote Waggoner.

KC's picture

I believe the "lobbying"

I believe the "lobbying" refers to Jones allying himself with McIntyre against Burchett during the last big budget battle.

KH's picture

What is lobbying?

Funny thing is, Jones and Deputy Biggs didn't really "lobby" for the board to extend McIntyre's contract. To lobby means that you are trying to influence the decisions of government officials. Those 20 some people who spoke in support of McIntyre were there as a show for the media, as the majority of teachers were pushed out into the atrium. The board members had already decided to extend the contract. The supporters just provided the smoke screen behind which they could hide.

Just One Issue Matters's picture

Second Amendment

All this bickering over these trivial matters....the public only needs to know how the candidates for Sheriff stand on defending our Second Amendment and whether the sheriff's office will continue to be federalized under his command.

Until they answer these questions, their political leaning, Republican or Democrat, lobbying or not lobbying, etc is moot.

We, the people, have a right to know. Which candidate is willing to run on this platform?

Knoxgal's picture

Good Questions

Good questions. Please do the research and get back to us with which candidate does and will so I can vote for the other guy.

Just One Issue Matters's picture

Second Amendment

To metulj:
Point taken. My point is, if candidates are not willing to state publicly their stance, which is an indicator of their pledge to uphold that 200+ year old well established right and a very basic and important issue to many citizens, we the people have little reason to trust anything else they say or do. IMO, it makes them all suspect and all of their dealings seem covert or loaded with an agenda. All I'm hearing is just more politics and shoulder rubbing....what we DON'T need.

So, since I don't know all the facts and would like to make an informed choice, who is your candidate and why?

redmondkr's picture

So you belong to a well

So you belong to a well regulated militia?

Average Guy's picture

Two liars and three distorters of fact

Sure hope Donilla can do some fact checking on the three Republican candidates for sheriff in regard to their WBIR Inside Tennessee appearance.

The only thing potential voters could have walked with is nobody can agree on the “facts” to the point Jones and Hammett accuse each other of lying about them.

If Hammett’s polling is showing him a distant third, I think it would serve the race for him to bail and back Waggoner.

And I’ve tried looking elsewhere and attempted to get an answer from the show but still cannot figure it out. Are Knox County School’s resource officers Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputies?

Jamie Satterfield's picture

Answer you seek

KCSO assigns some deputies to schools in the county while KPD assigns officers to schools in the city. But the school system also has its own set of school resource officers who are not certified law enforcement officers and are the equivalent of private security guards. Both KCSO and KPD help provide training to the school resource officers, who are not POST certified.

Average Guy's picture

Thanks for the clarity.

Thanks for the clarity.

mdonila's picture


If Hammett pulls out now his name is still on the ballot and no where on the ballot does it say someone has quit the race, so it probably wouldn't make much of a difference.

There are some deputies (and KPD officers) in the schools, but the folks involved in that major hiring wave of SROs are neither. They're employed by the school system and overseen by the school system's security chief.

Average Guy's picture

I'd think if the guy in third

I'd think if the guy in third publicly asked his supporters to support the guy in second, it would make a difference.

Either the officers and deputies should be good enough or the school’s security should be good enough. Not clear on the need for so many cooks in the kitchen. Seems like a screwy, unnecessary arrangement.

The one I think Jones did get right was the fact he can’t cut administrative staff or touch their salary. As exciting as fancy SUV’s are, I’d like to hear how potential candidates feel about the inane policies that govern Tennessee sheriff’s offices.

Average Guy's picture

Another reason to vote Waggoner

As seen on Knoxnews.., just kidding, from The Mail Online; (link...)

cwg's picture

We've got more at

We've got more at MP:


Hildegard's picture

Well, that looks less like a

Well, that looks less like a demotion and more like an indictment. Pro point for the po po: When you're rounding up a bunch of college kids in a neighborhood full of other college kids, you're in a unique kind of surveillance area. I.e., iPhones and GoPros everywhere, 24/7. I'll be surprised if there aren't a half dozen other photos and videos, from different angles.

cwg's picture

Yes, the extant pictures

Yes, the extant pictures aren't completely convincing to me of a chokehold-until-he-collapses scenario. But it does seem like some crazy shit went down. Will be interesting to see what else turns up.

Hildegard's picture

I doubt there's any excuse

I doubt there's any excuse for those photos, unless the arrestee's eyes turned blood red and he started spewing Latin hellspeak from the Necronomicon.

I reserve benefit of the doubt, always. But, mmmmmm......

cwg's picture

As a reporter, I'm trained to

As a reporter, I'm trained to be highly skeptical of photos that aren't confirmed by eyewitnesses - at least, when I haven't been able to talk to the photographer himself about them. Better to question than to falsely accuse.

Hildegard's picture

I appreciate that. I'm just

I appreciate that. I'm just online chattin' here, not bein' a pro.

Average Guy's picture

In the Mail's exhibit of the

In the Mail's exhibit of the photos, you can see there was no necklace. There's also a clearer shot of the cop straining to do whatever the hell he's doing.

Average Guy's picture

At 7:22 the KNS gets up a

At 7:22 the KNS gets up a story surrounding photos taken by a freelance photographer of theirs. (link...)

Average Guy's picture

Officer fired;


Still would love to know how a British newspaper got the scoop on these photos.

Bbeanster's picture

John Messner used to run a

John Messner used to run a 'crimewatch' web site (after people on the 37917 list protested his constant diatribes monopolizing the conversation there). It may still be around -

Whatever else, he's a good photog and must live with his scanner on 24/7.

As for how the Daily Mail site got hold of it, they are on the equivalent of the "scanner", too. And they carry as much US news as UK.

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