Knox County Seal
Knox County (WVLT) - Knox County asked for a special election and a judge denied it.
Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford has the latest development in the Knox County Commission case.
Chancellor Daryl Fansler issued his written opinion, refusing a special election to fill the 12 Knox County seats vacated from the January 31st violation of the Sunshine Law.
The decision wasn't a surprise to anyone.
In fact, many tell us they would've been shocked if the Chancellor ruled in favor of an election.
So, now the commission must make the appointments.
In the written statement, Fansler said he did not have the authority to call for an election, even though that's what the public wanted.
Fansler also pointed out that the law says vacancies shall be appointed by the county commission.
The chancellor said he's aware that the appointment process places a heavy burden on the remaining eleven commissioners.
"We had hoped that the weight would be off and we could do an election, but now that it's back on, we know we have to do the appointment process and we just need to make sure it's done right this time and it will be done right," said Commissioner Mike Hammond.
"That's what I suspected. I can't say I'm not disappointed because I certainly am not looking forward to it, but I ran for this position, knocked on a lot of doors and I'm going to do my duty," said Commissioner Greg Lambert.
Law Director John Owings says the commissioners actually have the option of not making any appointments, which county Mayor Mike Ragsdale appears to support.
"I believe the commission would be best served by waiting until after the February primary before making any appointments. Short of that, I would like to see them wait until after August so we can select our representatives," said Mayor Mike Ragsdale.
The Knox County Commission will meet on November 13th to talk about how the appointment process should work.
Then, they'll vote on it on the 19th, with assured public input.
No appeals have been filed at this time.
You can read the chancellor's ruling on our Hot Key by clicking the link below.