Knoxville developer Scott Davis, awaiting trial for assault and cruelty to animals, has been arrested again. In a traffic stop at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, officers verified that Davis had two outstanding warrants. According to the report, “officers took the suspect into custody without issue. The vehicle was towed to Sutherland Avenue.” Scott Davis Arrest Report 2
Apparently the two warrants were part of the original case (here) in which process server Sharon Jones called 911, claiming Davis followed her to her car and struck her in the eye after she served a civil warrant at his home. She said he punched her dog twice.
Davis has served on Knox County Commission and was the Republican nominee against County Executive Tommy Schumpert. He was chair of the Knoxville-Knox County Public Building Authority at the time of his arrests.
Atty. Gen. Charme Allen and every judge in town recused from the Davis case. It was assigned to Anderson County Atty. Gen. Dave Clark. A court date has not been set (that I know of). Covid has disrupted court schedules across the country.
Body-cam video: Meanwhile, I’ve made repeated requests that Sheriff Tom Spangler release the body-cam video taken by arresting officers on Dec 3. On Thursday, I was denied again. Kimberly Glenn, communications director for Spangler, wrote:
“As per our conversation, Special Prosecutor Clark with the Anderson County District Attorney General’s Office has asked that Sheriff Spangler not release the body cam footage at this time. As always, we strive not to hinder prosecution.”
Officers’ reports are public record. Body camera video, redacted to protect victims and bystanders, should be as well.
State law: “public record … means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, microfilms, electronic data processing files and output, films, sound recordings or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any governmental agency.”
Interestingly, former House Speaker Glen Casada tried to amend the law in 2018 to exempt body-cam video taken inside a person’s home or on their property. This bill did not pass.
PBA changes: Although Davis chaired the PBA at the time of his Dec. 3, 2020, arrest, by Jan. 19, 2021, he was only a board member. Chuck Severance is now listed as PBA board chair.
I asked PBA attorney Morris Kizer if Davis could be replaced by Mayor Glenn Jacobs, who appointed him, and whether the board itself could sanction him.
Kizer reponded that amended by-laws provide term limits of three one-year terms for the PBA board chair. “Mr. Davis has served three terms as chair, so he was not eligible to serve another term.” He added:
“The Board has taken no action to sanction Mr. Davis, and has not taken a no confidence vote. The newspaper accounts of the matter say that Mr. Davis’ lawyer stated that there are two sides to the story. As is the case with any citizen accused, Mr. Davis enjoys a presumption of innocence, which stands until the jury is persuaded of his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Moreover, there is nothing in the PBA amended by-laws or in the PBA Act that authorizes the board to take such action against another board member.
“I do not know whether Mayor Jacobs could replace Mr. Davis. That question should be directed to Mayor Jacobs.”
So I asked Jayne Burritt, PBPA administrator/CEO, when Chuck Severance was elected to chair the board.
Burritt sent this PBA 2021 Schedule and said Severance became the board chair at the annual meeting on Jan. 18. Other officers are:
- Vice Chair: Steve Maddox
- Treasurer: Shane Jackson
- Secretary: Hubert Smith
Note to readers: Are you also feeling a big chill fall on this story?
A former board member said the PBA board matters. “When the board was founded, Mr. Jim Haslam chaired it for years. The town’s leaders served on the board. … PBA borrows money (for joint city-county projects). Can you see those New York bond managers doing a google search of our current chairman (Davis)?”
A current board member initially could not recall an election. Like most boards, the PBA is meeting via Zoom. “Scott had quit coming and Chuck Severance had been running meetings.”
Harkening back to the Lily Tomlin movie, we’re witnessing “The Incredible Shrinking Scott.”
Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.