Knox County Commissioner issues public apology

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Knox County Commissioner caught in a compromising position last year, issued a public apology Friday.

Jeff Ownby and another man were arrested as part of a sex sting operation at Sharps' Ridge and charged with public indecency. He pleaded no contest in court and received Judicial Diversion. As part of his sentence, the judge ordered him to write a public letter of apology:

"I would like to apologize for having Oral Sex in Sharp’s Ridge Park on May 24, 2012. I would first like to apologize to my wife, my children, family and friends for my action and decision that I made on May 24, 2012. The pain and hurt that I caused them I am deeply sorry for. I have caused them embarrassment publicly for which they did not sign up for when I got into public office. I love my wife, kids and family and friends dearly and just ask for their forgiveness and I will do everything I can to make up for my indiscretions. I next would like to apologize to the Citizens of my district and this County. I have always tried to lead my life by the law and helpful to my community. I also ask the citizens of this County for their forgiveness and know that I will not be in any other trouble as long as I live. I then would like to apologize to my fellow Commissioners for embarrassing this wonderful body and hope that I get earn your forgiveness.

To my former employer I apologize for any disrespect and embarrassment that I may have because you, I truly enjoyed my time that I worked there and the great work that we did together.
I am very remorseful for my actions and will do everything I can to make this one lapse of judgment up to the citizens of this County and especially to my wife and family.

This incident has brought me back to the Lord and through counseling and therapy I will continue to grow spiritually and do the things that GOD would want me to act. The Counseling and therapy I have received so far to this date has allowed me to deal with things in my childhood to help me become a better Husband, Father, Citizen and most of all Christian.

Again I would like to ask my wife, children, family and friends and citizens of this County for your forgiveness and hope that this one mistake in my life does not over shadow the good things I have done."

Ownby is married with two children. He also had five foster children, who were taken away after his arrest.

He remains on the County Commission. Comcast, his former employer, laid him off after the arrest.

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