Grainger Co. Sheriff-elect talks about changes

By  | 

Another story out of Grainger County. This one is a change in law enforcement leadership. Folks are hoping the new sheriff can whip things back into shape after a year of scandal and controversy.

James Harville is the new sheriff-elect of Grainger County. James Harville says, "My main goal is moving Grainger County forward and not dealing with past issues."

Those include a sexual assault lawsuit and inmate escapes that prompted security upgrades like new locks, cameras and a perimeter fence around the jail. Now Harville is ready to work.
Harville says, "The first set of business will be to do some thorough background checks and restructure supervisory roles."

People who live here are ready for a change. Robert Maples says, "We needed change in Grainger County need the jail straightened out."
Another person says, "I would like to see a better watch on their deputies. They need to make sure the locks are locked and they're keeping a good eye on it."

This won't be Harville's first time as sheriff. He served from 2006-2010. Donna Kitts worked in the mayor's office then and remembers his first term in office. Donna Kitts says, "He was very dependable and very accessable. As far as budgets are concerned, he was on top of that. He really knew what was going on with budget."

Harville will replace Sheriff Scott Layel, who hasn't been at work since november 2012 when he had back surgery. After the inmate escapes, Chief Deputy Charles Biddle took over. Donna Kitts says, "I think it'll be great. I think the county is ready to move on."

Harville beat two other candidates, taking 60 percent of the vote.