Commissioner Threatens News-Sentinel After Lawsuit

KNOXVILLE (AP) -- A Knox County commissioner threatened to retaliate against The Knoxville News Sentinel for an open meetings lawsuit filed against the commission.

Lee Tramel, one of eight new commissioners, said the county should quit running legal advertisements and public notices in the paper.

He also criticized the tax incentives the newspaper received when it moved into a new building.

The lawsuit filed February Fifth claims the commission violated the state Open Meetings Act with private discussions before and in recesses during a meeting to appoint 12 new officeholders.

The vacancies were created after the state Supreme Court upheld Knox County's charter and two-term limits approved by voters.

Tramel later told a reporter he was "just venting."

The paper's editor and publisher wrote an open letter to readers today and vowed not to be intimidated by Tramel's threats.

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