In October, Knox County Commissioner Ed Brantley told a TV reporter that he’d keep living in his house on Hardin Valley Road for a while despite having sold it to a developer in August.
“When they bring those bulldozers in, yes, I’ll be moving.”
He also said he was unsure where he and his wife, Linda, would go when that happened, but that he’d resign from the commission if he moved out of Knox County.
Arrangements like this between buyers and sellers are not uncommon, but questions about the Brantleys’ official residence arose because they bought a house in a Loudon County lakeside subdivision for $475,000 on Aug. 4, the same day they closed the deal to sell the house and land on Hardin Valley Road to Ball Homes LLC for $1.1 million.
The questions persisted after the bulldozers dug up the driveway and turned the former Brantley farm into a sea of red clay surrounded by silt fences. KUB cut off the gas heat on Jan. 3, but the election commission still lists Brantley’s official residence as 11527 Hardin Valley Road. Brantley lists a post office box as his address on the commission’s website.
When contacted, Brantley said he moved out of the Hardin Valley house the first of January and now lives in two places – in a rental home at 2901 Overbook Drive and at a lake house in Loudon County.
“I live in Knox County,” he said.
Knox County KGIS does not list a residence at 2901 Overbrook Drive, although there is an apartment complex on Overbrook Drive in South Knoxville.
As an at-large commissioner, Brantley is not bound to live in a particular district, but the county charter requires commissioners (and other officeholders) to live in Knox County.
Brantley and his longtime radio colleague Bob Thomas were elected to the at-large seats commission seats in 2014, and the two have kept their profiles high by conducting joint community meet-and-greet sessions. Brantley has been active in Thomas’s campaign for county mayor, in fact signing his qualifying petition with the Hardin Valley address. Thomas turned in his petition Jan. 22, but Brantley could have signed it before he moved away.
Brantley’s term expires in 2018 and he’s not picked up a petition to seek re-election. Meanwhile, living in two places and all, Brantley remains at large.