Report: KCSO chief demoted after driving cruiser to night of drinking

Chief Brad Hall demoted to captain after a drunken altercation with colleague / Source: (Knox County Sheriff's Office)
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - One of Knox County Sheriff's Office's top officers has been demoted after a night of drinking in Knoxville's Old City.

Four other KCSO staff members are being reprimanded because of the incident as well.

An internal investigation ordered by Sheriff Tom Spangler into that night details what happened April 27, 2019.

The investigation concludes that Chief Brad Hall drove his county-issued vehicle to a restaurant to go drinking, a violation of county rules. Then, got into an altercation with his co-worker, Lieutenant Denver Scalf, that led to damage of a civilian's vehicle. Both Scalf and Hall were off-duty at the time.

"The actions are conduct unbecoming of an officer and due to his actions could have brought disgrace and discredit to the Knox County Sheriff's Office," the report stated about both Hall and Scalf.

Kimberly Glenn, communications director for Sheriff Spangler, eventually confessed to the sheriff what happened that night. She said in an interview that she received a call from Hall's wife that night indicating Hall was intoxicated and trying to drive his county-issued Chevy Tahoe and asked her to locate him and Scalf. Glenn said she and Hall's wife discussed how this "is a pattern for Hall and she often begs him not to drink and drive his county-issued vehicle.'

Glenn said she and Hall's wife discussed how this was not the first time Hall had been intoxicated while attempting to drive a county-issued vehicle, referring to a time before Spangler took office.

Glenn wrote in a memorandum recounting the night that she had tried to locate Scalf and Hall by calling them. When she was on the phone she said she overheard Scalf yelling at Hall to "get out of the vehicle," and telling him "you are going to be the next f-ing sheriff, you can't do this. I promised your wife I would not let you drive." Then, she said the phone went dead.

Glenn said she called Captain David Amburn to help locate the men and her husband, Jerry Glenn, an arson investigator with KCSO, to come to the Old City to help resolve the situation.

Glenn said her husband was able to locate them under the viaduct in the Old City, picked them up and drove them to the Krystal on Western Ave. where they met Glenn and she took Hall home. She said Hall had a bruised face and complained about in injured leg.

She said she went back to the viaduct where the Hall's Tahoe was parked to meet Scalf and a man who witnessed the altercation. She said Scalf ran to the ATM to give the man $40 for damaging his vehicle during the scuffle. She wrote Scalf was "crying and very upset at the events that took place."

Glenn wrote that she and Scalf drove the Tahoe back to the City County building and parked it in the covered area.

"I want to sincerely apologize to everyone at KCSO, especially Sheriff Spangler and Chief Deputy Lyon. I did what I thought was right at the time for a longtime friend and now colleague," wrote Glenn. "I am embarrassed that I didn't call Sheriff and Chief Lyon to tell them... 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 the information has caused harm which could result in a negative manner on Sheriff Spangler and the entire agency."

Kimberly Glenn received a written reprimand for keeping quiet about the incident and not reporting it to their bosses for months. Jerry Glenn and Amburn both received verbal reprimands.

Hall was promoted to Chief of Detectives a week after the incident, but was demoted back to Captain following the investigation. He was suspended for two days without pay and transferred to juvenile crimes.

A letter from Sheriff Tom Spangler to Captain Brad Hall reads "A review of your time as Assistant Chief Deputy has been found less than acceptable. Effective this date, you are demoted from Assistant Chief Deputy to Captain Detectives for failure to meet the position requirements during your probationary period. You will be returned to your previous pay grade and appropriate step."

Hall told investigators during an interview that he and Scalf had "a couple uh alcoholic beverages uh came back to my car sometime later." He said the argument began because Scalf thought Hall was going to drive his Tahoe, but insisted he was not planning to drive. "He grabbed me but I mean that was it I don't think there was an altercation, you talking about like a fistfight or something?" He said.

Hall recalled bumping into someone's vehicle but was unsure about any damage.

Hall was asked if he had ever driven a county-issued vehicle to an establishment where he had become intoxicated, to which he responded "no." He was also asked if his leg injury could have been a result of the altercation. He responded, "it could have. I can't say that for sure."

Hall said his wife brought him to the City County Building a few days later to pick up his Tahoe.

Scalf said that night there was no altercation to investigators, but referred to it as wrestling. He also said the $40 he gave the man was for gas money, not for a damaged vehicle, even though he later admitted during the wrestling the two men hit the side mirror of a car that belonged to the man who was asking for money.

He told investigators he and Hall had been out drinking that night for four or five hours. He said he couldn't recall how much alcohol the two had consumed.

Scalf said he was the one who drove Hall's county-issued Tahoe to the City County Building.

Scalf was also suspended for two days without pay and reassigned to criminal warrants.

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