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The court has ruled in the cases of Moody I & II versus the Sheriff of Knox County, a series of lawsuits initiated by Knox County Commissioner Wanda Moody against Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison.

The suits, which were first filed in the late 1990s, question whether or not the sheriff has the right to perform certain functions without the approval of County Commission.

Chancellor Thomas Frierson ruled the sheriff could oversee such projects as the construction of the now-defunct downtown jail, but that all major decisions would be made by the County Commission.

Frierson also ruled the sheriff cannot start construction projects, change the use of private property, hire attorneys or accept gifts such as helicopters without the permission of the County Commission.

Some have said that a lot of money has been spent on this case. In this case, hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars have been spent litigating this decision.

The question that now arises is to whom does the bill go?

Since County Commission and the taxpayers didn’t initiate or approve the lawsuit, it shouldn’t pay and neither should the taxpayers.

But, it remains to be seen who will foot the bill.

If the bill falls into the hands of County Commission and the taxpayers, then isn’t Commissioner Moody doing the same thing she accused the sheriff of doing – basically spending taxpayers’ money without County Commission consent?

How much time and money has been wasted on this matter that probably could have been resolved by County Mayor Michael Ragsdale, who seems to have a gift at resolving disputes between warring government bodies.

Hopefully, the taxpayers have seen the last of these squabbles and the county can move forward and put its money, our money, to much better use such as building new schools.


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