KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler said Friday in a statement it was "unfortunate" two senior officers scuffled in April, leading to a cover-up attempt and an eventual internal investigation that prompted disciplinary action for several department employees including the communications director.
"It's unfortunate this incident occurred. Once I learned of it, then I took the corrective actions necessary," Spangler said in the statement released by KCSO.
WBIR sought but did not get an interview Friday with the sheriff, seeking to address questions such as whether he'd lost faith in Glenn over her conduct.
In August, the department quietly demoted Brad Hall from assistant chief deputy to captain and suspended him for two days without pay. He also was moved to the Juvenile Division.
The department suspended Lt. Denver Scalf III without pay for two days and sent him to the Warrants Division.
It reprimanded in writing Kimberly Glenn, one of Spangler's closest aids and his communications director. The reprimand was put in her personnel file.
Also recommended for verbal reprimands were Glenn's husband, Officer Jerry Glenn, and KCSO Capt. David Amburn.
Around midnight April 26, Hall and Scalf scuffled while off duty in the Old City, the investigation showed. Hall had been drinking and was trying to drive his county-issued Chevrolet Tahoe, investigative records show. Scalf tried to stop him, records show.
A nearby vehicle suffered damage in the scuffle, and Scalf admitted giving the vehicle's owner $40 to cover the damage, investigation records show. He lied at first about what happened, however.
As first reported Friday in the News Sentinel, Glenn and her husband ended up getting involved the night of April 26-27 to help intervene with Brad Hall. Amburn also learned about it that night while speaking on the phone with Kimberly Glenn.
Just days later Hall was promoted to assistant chief deputy, records show. No one said anything about the April episode in the Old City for weeks, the investigation showed.
Word, however, began to reach KCSO's top commanders as the summer progressed. In July, Chief Deputy Bernie Lyon questioned both Scalf and Hall about "What happened in the Old City awhile back," a memo shows.
Scalf and Hall, however, said they'd only been horsing around and then "some guy" asked for gas money so Scalf gave "the old boy" $40. They lied in the presence of Spangler, the investigation found.
In early August, KCSO began an internal investigation after Glenn wrote a lengthy memo relaying her side of what had happened. The memo on KCSO letterhead is undated.
Glenn, a realtor and strong supporter of Spangler's during his successful 2018 campaign, apologized about her role in the episode in the memo. In her job, among other things, Glenn communicates with the media to release information of interest to the public.
Spangler has been in office a little more than a year.
If given the chance again, Glenn said in her memo she would have handled her response differently that night in the Old City.
Hall's actions were "unbecoming" of an officer and supervisor, she wrote.
Her failure to act promptly, she wrote, was "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."
"I want to sincerely apologize to everyone at KCSO, especially Sheriff Spangler and Chief Deputy Lyon," Glenn's memo states. "I did what I thought was right at the time for a longtime friend and now colleague."
She continued: "I came to the Knox County Sheriff's Office after running the Sheriff's campaign to truly make a DIFFERENCE. I wanted to help Sheriff Spangler in seeing his dreams for KCSO come true. I wanted to make a positive impact for the men and women here.
"I am embarrassed that I didn't call Sheriff and Chief Lyon to tell them. I told (Hall's wife), had Captain Hall drove his car I would have had no choice but to wake the Sheriff up and tell him. I thought my actions were protecting the Office of Sheriff as well as the agency and Captain Hall and his family. When now I realize it was just the opposite.
"My inaction of keeping this information has caused harm which could result in a negative manner on Sheriff Spangler and the entire agency."
WBIR has requested access to personnel records for all those involved.
Interviews reveal details
On Friday, KCSO released records from the internal investigation. They included summaries of Aug. 2 and 5 interviews with the main participants as well as Glenn's undated memo.
Glenn told investigators Aug. 2 that Hall's wife called her the night of the incident. The couples were old friends.
Hall was "shitfaced" and trying to drive his KCSO vehicle, Glenn said she was told. Mrs. Hall wasn't sure where her husband was but knew he was with Scalf, according to Glenn's statement.
Glenn recalled in her July memo that she told Hall's wife "that Captain Hall was about to be promoted and knew it was wrong to drive his county-issued police vehicle while intoxicated."
"Mrs. Glenn and Mrs. Hall discussed how this is a pattern for Chief Hall and how she often begs him not to drink and drive his county-issued vehicle," the summary states.
According to Glenn, Hall was involved in an incident 2018 where he got intoxicated and tried to drive his county vehicle at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant.
Glenn called Amburn, who oversees the narcotics fleet, of which Hall drove a vehicle. She asked the captain if Hall's vehicle had GPS tracking, but it didn't, the investigation showed.
While she was talking with Amburn on her county phone, Scalf called into her personal phone on Blue Tooth, which could be heard by Amburn. She could hear Scalf pleading and yelling with Hall to cooperate.
Hall, meanwhile, was being belligerent and disruptive, the investigation showed.
As she recalled, "...Lieutenant Scalf was telling Chief Hall that his wife had called everybody, there is no way in hell he can let him drive now, he couldn't do this, he was about to be the next 'F'n, sheriff,' he was about to be Lieutenant Scalf's chief and to come on he can't do this."
Then, Glenn heard "some type of scuffle and she could hear the phone fall," the IA summary from her states.
Amburn had heard much of the commotion and discussion while waiting on the other line.
"I honestly have no words for what I just head," Amburn observed on the phone, the investigation showed.
Jerry Glenn drove downtown to look for Hall and Scalf.
He also called Scalf and a "random man" answered the phone and warned him Scalf and Hall were "in an argument, you need to get down here as quick as you can."
Jerry Glenn, also interviewed Aug. 2, eventually found Scalf and Hall under the James White Parkway viaduct near Barley's. Jerry Glenn drove Hall to a Krystals restaurant on Western Avenue.
Kimberly Glenn also went to the scene. Scalf was "crying and very upset at the events that took place," she said in her memo submitted before the investigation began.
According to Glenn's July memo, "(Scalf) said Captain Hall said some very hurtful things to him and was very mad at him. He described the physical altercation that took place all because he was trying to keep Captain Hall from driving his county-issued police vehicle."
The lights and alarm to Hall's vehicle were going off.
Kimberly Glenn feared with all the commotion that the Knoxville Police Department would end up finding out and respond to the scene, her interview showed.
She and Scalf ended up taking Hall's vehicle to the City County Building.
Amburn was interviewed Aug. 2.
Amburn at the time was seeking the same promotion as Hall. He said nothing about what he knew of the Old City incident, the investigation found.
"Capt. Amburn did not say a word to anyone," a summary of his interview showed, "because he did not want anybody to come back and say that he was the only other qualified person that bid on the same chief position that he was.
"He did not want it to look like it was a personal thing or him trying to make Chief Hall look bad."
What Scalf and Hall said
Scalf proved elusive and even lied when speaking with internal investigators Aug. 2, records show.
He was reluctant to sign documents acknowledging he'd been formally advised of the investigation, according to the investigation.
When officers asked him to explain what had happened the night of April 27, "...he just sat there with a blank stare and asked, "What, I mean what's your question?"
He couldn't say specifically how much alcohol he and Hall had consumed and said he guessed they'd been out four or five hours. Scalf repeatedly said Hall and he had merely "wrestled" around.
The lieutenant said he hadn't argued with Hall. He said he ended up with a scrape on his face and didn't realize that Hall had hurt his leg.
"Lt. Scalf was asked if he notified anyone at work about the incident and he stated, 'No.' "
Investigators spoke with Hall the morning of Aug. 5.
Hall said even though he and Scalf had argued, he "never planned on driving" his own vehicle the night they'd been drinking. He said he wanted to sit down in his Tahoe to rest.
"Scalf grabbed me but I mean that was it. I don't think there was an altercation. You talking about like a fist fight or something?"
When asked about damage to the nearby vehicle, Hall said he remembered bumping into it but was unsure about any damage, records show.
He couldn't recall stopping to get something to eat with Jerry Glenn at the Krystal.
Hall suffered a leg injury and facial scrapes that night in the Old City, the investigation found. Jerry Glenn recalled the injuries
Hall didn't eat at the restaurant, but he was hurting, Jerry Glenn recalled. He got out of Jerry Glenn's truck, limping in the parking lot.
"...his leg was killing him, uh, and he limped around for a long time," Jerry Glenn told investigators.
Hall couldn't remember if he'd hurt his leg that night or the next day by stepping off a sidewalk at home, he told investigators.
Sheriff's investigators concluded Hall was so drunk that night in April he couldn't recall some of what had occurred. He broke several department orders and engaged in "conduct unbecoming an officer." He also drove his county-issued Tahoe "with the intent of going to an establishment to consume alcoholic beverages," the conclusion states.
Scalf violated general orders that included driving Hall's county-issued vehicle after the scuffle, having recently consumed alcohol. He also was cited for getting into the altercation with Hall.
Glenn, her husband and Amburn all knew what had happened, the investigation found. What happened could have brought "disgrace" to the department, the investigation found.