Sevier County (WVLT) Surprise comes to mind for neighbors, friends and co-workers after the arrest of a Sevier County Commissioner who's charged with assaulting his ex-wife and her friend at her home last week.
WVLT Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb has more.
Commissioner Kenneth Whaley was released on bond last night from the Sevier County jail.
The incident allegedly took place last Thursday night and the next day his ex-wife sought an order of protection against him.
Commissioner Kenneth Whaley is now also defendant Whaley charged with one count each of assault and domestic assault.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Whaley allegedly forced his way into Lynda Whaley's Sevierville home on Lexington Place last Thursday night.
She alleges he hit her in the mouth, grabbed her throat, and threatened her.
Lynda's friend, Robert K. Seaton claims Whaley grabbed him on the chin and throat, also threatening him.
Both Seaton and Whaley's ex-wife have declined comment.
Cherry Derrick, the victim's next door neighbor says, "It evidently wasn't so, you know, violent or whatever that it even cause a reason for us to look out or anything."
Derrick lives next door and says it was only recently she found out about the incident.
Larry Waters, the Sevier County Mayor says, "I think anytime something like this happens it's a surprise to everyone involved."
County mayor Larry Waters calls the event unfortunate.
Thomas Hodges, who operates a business in Whaley's district says, "I was watching the news last night on Channel 8 news and I seen the story about it and I was a little bit shocked."
Tom Hodges has operated a pawn shop in Whaley's district for 15 years.
He feels Whaley should have distanced himself from domestic situations knowing politicians are held to a higher standard.
"It was definitely a mistake on his part, of course. It is human nature also to probably react the way he did."
Lynda Whaley's neighbor just wishes she could have done something to help.
"I just feel real bad for her because she is such a sweet lady that she had to go through something like this."
Whaley has waived his court date tomorrow until next month.
A circuit court judge is expected to hear the order of protection petition October 15th.
Whaley declined comment referring to his attorney and fellow first term Commissioner Bryan Delius.
Delius called Whaley an exceptional person and says they look forward to resolving this issue