Attorneys React to Knox County Sunshine Decision

Knox County (WVLT) - The lawyers involved in the Sunshine trial are all reacting to the ruling that vacated 12 seats in Knox County.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford is following the case.

Chancellor Daryl Fansler issued the ruling today after a jury found the Knox County Commission violated the state's Open Meetings act.

He said the public has to be involved in the new appointments, however they are made.

He also issued an injunction against the Open Meetings Act, meaning any commissioner who violates the law from here on out will go to jail.

There were mixed emotions from both sides of the trial.

"Victory for the people. The people of Knox County won with this opinion as they did with the jury verdict," said Herb Moncier.

Citizens attorney Herb Moncier says Chancellor Fansler's ruling is a dream come true.

"I am tickled to death for the people of Knox County," said Moncier.

Moncier has a new mission now.

"The people that I represent have instructed me to continue to press forward to try to get special elections in Knox County as soon as it can be done," he said.

Moncier has a motion pending before the State Supreme Court to allow a tennessee judge to rule on a special election by December.

"Knox County has generally done what they've wanted to do for 17 years. If we all want to have a special election and we join hands to do it, we can make it work"

"There's no question you can make it work," said Richard Hollow, attorney for the News Sentinel.

"I think the citizens of Knox County need to keep in mind that the Supreme Court of Tennessee overturned 12 free elections," said Commission Chairman Scott Moore.

Moore says he'll be working on a timeline to tell the citizens of Knox County how this whole thing started.

"We were pretty clear to Chancellor Fansler that we needed a roadmap," said Moor.

Law Director John Owings says he honors the court's decision and doesn't plan to appeal.

"The Chancellor made it very clear that vacancies are immediate," said Owings.

"I'm not disappointed. We need to do whatever the law says and at the end of the day, I think we have good people running county government," said Moore.

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