Brett Kilgore, who resigned a few months ago from the Hamblen County Civil Service Board, is off and running for Sheriff.
Even though the primary is over 15 months away, Kilgore has already printed, paid for, and handed out election brochures. (Click on the images to enlarge)
In 2006, Kilgore paid for an ad in which he endorsed former Sheriff Otto Purkey. Otto Purkey lost to current Sheriff Esco Jarnagin in 2006, and Kilgore was subsequently appointed to the Civil Service Board by Otto Purkey's brother, County Mayor David Purkey.
That appointment eventually led to a confrontation between Kilgore and current Sheriff Esco Jarnagin when Kilgore, along with fellow Civil Service Board Member Joel Seal, voted to order Sheriff Jarnagin to promote and put Lynn Wolfe, a relative of David and Otto Purkey, back on the road as a deputy.
Jarnagin refused, noting that Lynn is best-known for totaling a 1999 county cruiser in December of 2000 while returning from an out-of-town party. Newspaper reports at the time stated that Wolfe's blood alcohol content was more than twice the standard for drunk driving. Click here for background on the civil service board ruling and the appeal.
Wolfe was Otto Purkey's chief deputy at the time of the wreck and resigned after he was given a severance package by David Purkey.
The county sued Wolfe to recover the cost of the vehicle. An agreement was reached providing that Lynn Wolfe would make restitution to the county for $6,250 by performing community service. And who would Lynn Wolfe perform his community service for? His father Harold Wolfe, of course!
Harold Wolfe was head of the county's maintenance department. David Purkey saw the obvious conflict in son (Lynn Wolfe) working off restitution by working for father (Harold Wolfe). David sent a memo to Harold telling Harold that, if anyone gets nosy and asks, just tell that that Gary Templin is supervising Lynn.
In "working" for his father's maintenance department, Lynn turned in three timeless timesheets to his kinfolk David Purkey, and Purkey accepted and filed the timeless timesheets in Wolfe's personnel file. Lynn's supervisor Gary Templin had actually signed off on two of the timeless sheets, and Lynn turned in the third one without any supervisor's signature at all.
Lynn resigned in 2001, so how did he end up back at the Sheriff's Department again? After a few years went by, his kinfolk Otto Purkey, who was still Sheriff, hired Lynn back as a jailer.
Esco Jarnagin defeated Otto in 2006, and when Lynn tried to get promoted to road deputy, Esco
refused to sign a waiver that could have put Lynn back on the road again in a county vehicle. Lynn then filed a federal lawsuit against Jarnagin.
Details and documents regarding the Wolfe saga: the wreck, the civil service board, and the lawsuit are here.
Brett Kilgore is off and running, and we'll have more info in future posts.