Breaking News
More () »

Mayor's chief of staff resigns, parks senior director dismissed amid investigation

Bryan Hair and Paul White were put on leave last week.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Less than a week after being put on leave, Mayor Glenn Jacobs' chief of staff has resigned and his senior parks director has been dismissed.

The departures of Bryan Hair and Paul White were announced Monday morning.

White declined to quit, according to the Mayor's Office.

“Ethics are not ambiguous, and it is important that Knox County be above reproach,” Jacobs said in a statement Monday. “Public trust is fragile. I encourage all parties involved to cooperate with the Comptroller’s investigation regardless of employment status.”


Jacobs put the men on leave Tuesday, Oct. 13, amid concerns about "potential wrongdoing." He wasn't specific.

Hair has been Jacobs' chief of staff since he won election in 2018. He drew a $170,000 annual salary. White was hired after Jacobs won election; he and Hair are old friends and Hair helped him get the job.

Hair told 10News on Thursday he'd been put on leave over a county golf cart he borrowed in May from Parks and Recreation after his wife broke her foot. He returned it after several months.

In his statement last week, Hair said he realized he had made a mistake.

The auditing firm Pugh CPA is looking into their conduct. 

The state Comptroller’s Office has been consulted and is looking into the case. The office audits state and local offices and makes public announcements about its findings. 

10News has requested information about the county golf cart including when it was acquired, how it was used and who could use it. The Mayor's Office said Saturday it couldn't release that information because of its ongoing investigation.

According to Monday's announcement, the Comptroller's Office will share its findings with the county when the investigation is complete. Their findings may result in "further action" by Jacobs, according to Monday's announcement.

Community Development Director Dwight Van de Vate and Director of Finance Chris Caldwell are sharing chief of staff duties.

According to the announcement, the mayor has already made changes "to some departmental level procedures and oversight."

Chuck James and Shauna Godlevsky will run Parks and Recreation operations. Godlevsky is parks planning and development manager. James is director of parks.

Before You Leave, Check This Out