KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — A respected veteran Knox County Sheriff's Office investigator demoted following revelations of a drunken incident in the Old City is blasting the department's communications director as scheming and power hungry.
"The demotion that I received was an unfair and unjust action and I should be reinstated as the assistant chief deputy immediately and the suspension lifted," Capt. Brad Hall's Sept. 6 grievance letter to Chief Deputy Bernie Lyon states.
"My 29 years with this office with little to no issues only support this grievance. I remain loyal to the Knox County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Spangler and Knox County."
Hall, 53, just promoted to assistant deputy chief in May, lost that job Aug. 20 after an internal investigation found he'd scuffled off-duty with another department veteran during a drunken night in April that ended under the James White Parkway overpass near Barley's.
The investigation found Hall and four others including communications director Kimberly Glenn to be complicit.
"I am not the first officer to fall victim to Mrs. Glenn's lust for power and influence. I should be the last," Hall's letter states.
When contacted Tuesday for comment, Glenn said: "Everything that I have to say regarding Captain Hall's unfortunate incident is contained within the memorandum and in my statements to our Internal Affairs Unit. His grievance letter changes none of the facts contained in either."
Hall was demoted and docked two days' pay as a result of the investigation. Lt. Denny Scalf, Hall's friend and the man with whom he scuffled while off duty, was suspended without pay two days and moved to the Warrants Division.
Glenn got a written reprimand, and her husband, Officer Jerry Glenn, and Capt. David Amburn received oral reprimands.
Hall's wife had contacted Kimberly Glenn the night of April 26 for help in finding Hall. She said Hall was "shitfaced" and trying to drive his county vehicle, Glenn recalled.
The couples were old friends.
Glenn's husband found Hall and Scalf in the parking lot under the overpass and eventually took Hall away. The men had quarreled while Scalf tried to prevent Hall from driving his department vehicle, the investigation showed.
Hall denied later that he intended to drive his vehicle and said he only wanted to rest. Investigators didn't support his version of events and noted there were parts of the night he couldn't recall.
Hall, long regarded for his investigative skills and experience, was just days away from being promoted.
In fact, personnel records show he sent a formal request to be considered for the assistant chief deputy's job on the afternoon of April 26, just hours before he and Scalf ended up clashing in the Old City.
Glenn knew he was about to be promoted and observed that his behavior could put the promotion in peril, records show. He'd been involved in a 2018 incident at a restaurant in which he'd been drinking and driving, she said at the time.
No one involved reported what happened that April night in the Old City. But suspicions began to circulate this summer in the department.
In about mid July, Chief Deputy Bernie Lyon questioned both Scalf and Hall in front of the sheriff about what happened. They passed it off as horseplay and denied anything worse had happened.
Then, Glenn prepared an extensive and undated memo on department stationery with her recollections of the events including her role. She drove down to the scene that night and spoke with Scalf. She and Scalf then returned Hall's vehicle to the City County Building.
She wrote that she'd been trying to protect the Sheriff's Office as well as Hall and now saw that her actions had had the opposite effect.
"Captain Hall's actions were unbecoming of an officer/supervisor of this agency but my actions or lack of were also unbecoming as I held this knowledge and allowed Sheriff Spangler and Chief Deputy Lyon to promote Captain Hall the following week to chief of detectives. I am sick over it," she wrote.
In early August an internal investigation began, resulting in last month's demotion, suspensions and reprimands.
Hall, now represented by lawyer Scott Lanzon, termed what happened April 26 as a "dispute" between him and Scalf, an old friend. Lanzon was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
It was "neither intentional, malicious, criminal, immoral, indecent, lewd or disorderly, as laid out in general order as requirements for a violation," his letter states.
Hall said he learned later that Glenn had secretly recorded the conversation she had with his wife. She'd also taken photos of Hall's county vehicle.
"Again, she withheld until showing them at the internal affairs investigation," Hall's letter states.
While Hall was promoted in early May, he still faced a probationary period, according to records.
Hall suggests Glenn retaliated this summer against him after he moved her son-in-law, Matt Lawson, within the department. Lawson's relocation in May was cleared by both Bernie Lyon and Spangler, Hall wrote.
Still, he said, Glenn complained to him. Glenn, a realtor, became Spangler's communications chief after he won election last year.
"She aggressively made clear that I should have contacted her prior to making this decision," his grievance letter states. "There has never been any indication that Mrs. Glenn is in a supervisory capacity as it related to my role and therefore, her response to this decision was uncalled for and outside the protocol of her responsibilities and duties as communications director."
"Additionally, despite her self-anointed title as 'Manages Knox County Sheriff's Office,' Mrs. Glenn has a total of 13 months working with the Knox County Sheriff's Office and has never managed the Knox County Sheriff's Office."
Glenn engages in subterfuge to get her way, Hall wrote.
A review of Hall's personnel file shows he received numerous letters of commendation for his police work through the decades. He personally took on the challenge of finding the killer of Johnia Berry, a high-profile Knox County homicide victim in 2004.
He started with the Sheriff's Office as a detention officer in 1988. In September 1989, he was suspended two days without pay over the way he handled an incident in the jail, records show.
Hall promptly quit the department. He returned about two years later.
In August 2006, he again abruptly quit. Records state he took work as a groundskeeper making $8 an hour.
By December 2006, however, Hall was back with KCSO working as a detective. He continued to climb the ranks over the next 12 years.