Tennessee Civil Asset Forfeiture Brought in $16M in Funds in 2021, But Transparency Lacking

Police traffic stop

In 2021, law enforcement in Tennessee seized $16 million worth of cash and $15.8 million was forfeited in court. But according to annual reports from Tennessee’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security, departments used just $195,000 of those funds.

Each year since Tennessee law began requiring those disclosures in 2018, similar numbers have appeared.

In 2020, $15 million was seized, $8.4 million was forfeited in the courts but just $1,980 was recorded as being used. In 2019, $12 million was seized, $12 million was forfeited and just more than $300,000 of the proceeds were used.

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs Explains Problem with Red Flag Laws and How Biden Administration Is Hypocritical

In an interview with The Tennessee Star, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs explained why red flag laws are bad, how the Biden administration is hypocritical on the gun issue, and how the real topic of conversation should be securing the safety of schools. 

“I think the most important thing to remember is we already have laws on the books to give the government the ability to get weapons out of the hands of people suffer from mental health issues, but the key thing is those existing laws give them due process,” Jacobs’ said, referencing the fact that Baker laws exist in all 50 states already.

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs: ‘The Second Amendment Really Represents the Power Lies with the People’

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, guest host Gulbransen welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newsmaker line to discuss the Bill of Rights, 2nd Amendment, and the security of public schools.

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ATC Drivetrain Announces New Manufacturing Operations in Knoxville

On Wednesday, Governor Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Commissioner Bob Rolfe, and ATC Drivetrain officials announced the company has selected Knoxville as the location for its newest manufacturing facility.

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs Says Cancel Culture Makes U.S. Look Weak to ‘Fascists’ like Putin

Glenn Jacobs speaking on a stage

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs pushed back on accusations that he was “pro-Putin” after a portion of a series of Sunday tweets were amplified, leading some to believe that he supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Unfortunately what has happened on the Left with the Russiagate investigation – which was a hoax – is that when Republicans say something that involves Putin they get tied to him by the Left,” Jacobs told The Tennessee Star. “Putin and brutal dictators like him look for weakness. In order to deal with people like him you need to project strength.”

“I do not support Putin,” the Knox County mayor said. “I’m for liberty and freedom. Putin is the antithesis of that.”

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs Talks State Budget Bump and Fighting Mask Mandates

Glenn Jacobs

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Mayor Glenn Jacobs of Knox County to the newsmakers line to talk about this continued fight against mandatory mask mandates in schools and the new state budget.

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Knox County Health Department Officials Announce New COVID-19 Deaths, Some of Which Actually Occurred Last Fall

Knox County Health Department officials announced 39 additional COVID-19 deaths among county residents on Wednesday for the current reporting period of January 16 through January 22. But Knox County Health Department officials also said 10 of those deaths occurred not this month but in previous months. They said they will add those deaths to their charts according to their dates of death.

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs on OSHA Mandates, Football, and Helping Veteran’s Mental Health in Tennessee

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newmakers line to discuss the OSHA employer vaccine mandates, football, and mental health in Tennessee.

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Knox County Mayor Creates Skilled Trades Academy and Regional Training Center to Bring Tradesmen to County

The Knox County Mayor announced in a press release that he was close to beginning the Skilled Trades Academy and Regional Training Center (START). The academy was explained as “a training school designed to attract, train, and retain a quality workforce in the construction industry.”

Mayor Glenn Jacobs said in the press release that the Knox County community is committed to opportunities for everyone to thrive. “This academy does that by advancing alternative pathways for students and residents while ensuring that our growing workforce will be ready and able to meet the needs of our trade businesses.”

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs on Coronavirus Economic Recovery and His Priorities

Glenn Jacobs

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newsmakers line to discuss coronavirus economic recovery and his priorities moving into the 2022 election year.

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Knox County Sheriff Tells President Biden He Will Not Enforce Mask Mandate

A local sheriff has responded to President Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. Sheriff Tom Spangler, of Knoxville, Tennessee sent Biden a letter telling the President that he would not be enforcing the mandate on his staff.

Spangler said in his letter that enforcing the mandate was unconstitutional and was putting the lives of the people of Knoxville at risk.

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs Highlights Upcoming Fall Festival at Oakes Farm October 26th and Democratic Infiltration at the Local Level

Glenn "Kane" Jacobs

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newsmakers line to highlight October 26th Fall Festival in Corrington, Tennessee, and liberal infiltration in the local government.

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs: ‘The Idea That the President Is Just Making Laws on His Own Should Really Bother Everyone’

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newsmakers line to discuss his recently penned letter to President Biden.

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Commentary: Teacher Codes of Conduct Offer Alternative to Critical Race Theory Bans

The firing of Matthew Hawn, a high school teacher in Sullivan County, Tennessee, recently made national news and seemed to confirm fears that newly-enacted state bans on critical race theory (CRT) would have a chilling effect on teacher speech. Hawn, a 16-year veteran tenured teacher and baseball coach, had assigned students in his contemporary issues class Ta-Nehisi Coates’s essay, “The First White President,” and a spoken word poem from Kyla Jenée Lacey called “White Privilege.” One headline declared, “A Tennessee teacher taught a Ta-Nehisi Coates essay and a poem about white privilege. He was fired for it.” A Georgetown professor tweeted, “This really seems extreme and a harbinger of what is to come.”

But contrary to news coverage and social media chatter, Hawn wasn’t fired for violating the state’s newly passed CRT ban. Really, he was dismissed for failing to adhere to the Tennessee “Teacher Code of Ethics,” a seldom-invoked but sensible state requirement for teachers to provide students access to varying points of view on controversial topics. Not only did Hawn fail to follow this code when he assigned the contentious poem and Coates’ essay from The Atlantic, which contains claims such as, “With one immediate exception, Trump’s predecessors made their way to high office through the passive power of whiteness,” he also later asserted that “there is no credible source for a differing point of view.” (Hawn recently denied making such a claim, though he declined to explain why the district attributed this statement to him.)

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Ohio Village Enacts Mask Mandate, Affects Local School

When a local school district decided not to require masks for students and staff, a small north central Ohio village decided to take matters into its own hands.

Gambier, a town of about 2,500 people about 60 miles northeast of Columbus, enacted a mask mandate during an emergency village council meeting Monday, encompassing nearly all public buildings, including an elementary school.

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs Weighs in on COVID Mandates and Power of Local County Health Boards

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newsmakers line to discuss his position on mask mandates and the power of county health boards.

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Knox County Mayor Won’t Impose New COVID Restrictions or Mask Mandates as Delta Variant Spreads

Glenn Jacobs

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs won’t impose any new restrictions or mask mandates, even with the rise of the Delta variant and regular cases. The mayor made this declaration in response to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAIH) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci’s interview with CNN anchor Jake Tapper. Fauci revealed that he and other public health officials were considering renewed guidance recommending masks for fully-vaccinated individuals.

“As we once again hear talk about lockdowns and mandates across the country, I feel it is important I make it clear that under no circumstances will I issue any new COVID restrictions,” stated Jacobs. “Vaccines are now readily available across the country for those who want them, and our economy cannot sustain another devastating lockdown. I have faith in the people of this county to make the decisions that benefit their families best.”

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Mayor Glenn Jacobs: ‘Congressional Term Limits Is Something We Can All Get Behind’

Glenn "Kane" Jacobs

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newsmakers line to explain his motivation for US term limits and his background.

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Knox County School Board Considering Hire of Outside Consultant to Decide on Putting Law Enforcement Back in Schools; Mayor Says It’s a ‘Waste of Taxpayer Dollars’

The Knox County Schools (KCS) Board of Education is considering whether to hire an outside consultant for reinstating law enforcement in their schools. In a letter submitted to the Knox County Board of Education (KCBOE) last week, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said that the proposed facilitator would be a waste of taxpayer dollars.

“Please let this letter serve as official notification that I strongly oppose using taxpayer dollars to pay an outside consulting firm to tell the district what every parent in Knox County already knows: armed law enforcement officers are a necessity in schools,” wrote Jacobs. “[I] simply cannot ignore that physical security is absolutely critical in keeping our students safe at school. I am deeply disturbed that any governmental body would even consider removing law enforcement from any of our schools.”

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Boyd Sports to Profit from Events Held at Taxpayer-Funded Stadium

Smokies Stadium in Tennessee

Randy Boyd’s company, Boyd Sports LLC owner of the Tennessee Smokies, will profit on events booked at the proposed taxpayer-funded baseball stadium to be located in Knoxville.

The arrangement was revealed during a livestreamed Stadium Proposal Public Meeting held on March 25. 

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Five Sponsors of Bill Enabling Randy Boyd’s Taxpayer-Funded Baseball Stadium Received More Than $90,000 in Campaign Funds from Individuals with Ties to the Project

Five of the eight sponsors of the bill that will enable a taxpayer-funded stadium for Randy Boyd’s minor league baseball stadium in Knoxville received a total of more than $90,000 in campaign contributions from several individuals who are involved with the proposed project.

All but one of the legislators are from the Knoxville area and all but one are Republicans while three are freshmen.

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Former Knox County Court Clerk Pleads Guilty to Theft

A former employee of the Knox County General Sessions Court Clerk’s office has pled guilty to theft of more than $1,000 after an investigation by the Tennessee comptroller’s office.

The comptroller investigation revealed former deputy clerk Steve Harmon stole at least $6,577 from the office between January and October 2019. Harmon was placed on administrative leave in October 2019 and was fired in November 2020.

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Tennessee Stands Rallies Against Knox County Health Board Mandate

A group promoting individual liberty rallied Saturday afternoon to strip the Knox County Board of Health of its mandate powers. 

“No elected politician, or in this case an appointed board, should have the right to decide whether your business is valuable,” Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles told The Tennessee Star. 

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Knox County and City of Knoxville to Consider Establishment of a Sports Authority, First Step to a Taxpayer-Funded Stadium for Multi-Millionaire Randy Boyd’s Tennessee Smokies Baseball Team

The establishment of a sports authority that is the first step to a taxpayer-funded stadium for the Tennessee Smokies minor league baseball team owned by multi-millionaire Randy Boyd will be considered by the Knox County Commission at the regularly scheduled work session scheduled for Monday, December 14.
The application for the establishment of The Sports Authority of the County of Knox and the City of Knoxville was signed by Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, City of Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, County Commission Chair Larsen Jay, City Councilmember Gwen McKenzie, well-known local teacher and coach Tommy Schumpert and Dan Brown.

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Analysis: Republican Crossover Voting for Democrats in August 6 Primary Election in Knox County

Analysis of the Knox County voting data for the August 6 primary and general election reveals difference-making Republican crossover votes for Democrat candidates.

At the same time there was the primary election for state and federal level offices, there was also a county general election race.  In a combined primary/general election, voters can pull a Republican, Democrat, or general election only ballot.

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Knox vs. Davidson County: Two Mayoral Responses to the Financial Impact of COVID-19

As the economic shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic continue on and the start of the upcoming fiscal year on July 1 draws near, Tennessee’s government leaders are laying out their response to the financial impact.

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs Questions Bill Lee’s Stay-at-Home Order

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said in a video response on Twitter that although he appreciated Gov. Lee living up to the courage of his convictions, he “cannot applaud government monitoring the movements of its people” and that with this economic crisis as a result of Tennessee’s statewide shutdown, a mental health crisis will follow.

As The Tennessee Star reported, Gov. Bill Lee signed Executive Order 23, which requires Tennesseans to stay home through April 14th unless they engage in essential activities to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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Law Enforcement Announces More TennCare Arrests in Knox, Williamson, and Blount Counties

  Tennessee officials have arrested more people on charges of TennCare fraud. According to a press release, authorities with the Office of Inspector General and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office charged a Loudon County woman in Knox County with doctor shopping for prescription drugs and using TennCare as payment for…

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Knox County May Reportedly Prevent Taxpayers from Seeing Police Videos

According to various news outlets out of Knoxville, Knox County prosecutors are working to make sure members of the public can’t see police videos outside a courtroom. According to KnoxNews.com, these include all police cruiser and body-camera videos in criminal cases. Anyone who allows taxpayers to see these videos may…

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New Tennessee Law Cuts Off the Cash Knox County Gets from Truckers for Scale Violation Tickets

Knox County officials apparently love to give tickets to truckers, but a new state law has cut off that county’s cash flow, according to CDLLife.com. The website caters to people in the trucking industry. County officials got this money by ticketing overweight trucks and last year gave out 1,600 citations.…

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Tennessee’s 2nd District: Tim Burchett Releases New Ad Promoting His Support for President Trump

Donald Trump, Tim Burchett

Knox County Mayor and Republican candidate for Congress in Tennessee’s 2d Congressional District has a new television commercial airing that promotes his support for President Trump.  This is Burchett’s second ad and it is airing on both broadcast and cable throughout the district. TIM BURCHETT “TRUMP” ad: Hey, I’m Tim…

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Tennessee’s 2nd District: Tim Burchett Reports Huge Fundraising Haul for Second Quarter

Tim Burchett

Knox County Mayor and Republican congressional candidate in the 2nd Congressional District had an impressive second quarter fundraising report according to a release from his campaign on Thursday. Burchett reports raising $225,000 during the most recent reporting period that ended on June 30th. To date Burchett has reported raising over…

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WWE Wrestler Jacobs Wins Knox County Mayor Primary by 17 Votes

WWE wrestler Glenn Jacobs has won the Republican primary for Knox County mayor by a margin of only 17 votes, WATE reported. The Knox County Election Commission says there are, however, a few provisional ballots, so the results won’t be official until next week. Jacobs, a former WWE wrestler aka “Kane,”…

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Second District Congressional Republican Primary Fundraising Details Show a Race That is Heating Up

The Republican primary to fill the 2nd Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-TN-02) is heating up as Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, businessman Jason Emert and State Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R-Lenoir City) vie for the job. First quarter 2018 fundraising reports reveal that all three will…

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JC Bowman Commentary: The Role of a School Board

Tennessee Star

Local school boards reflect the needs and aspirations of the communities as well as the interests and concerns of professional and nonprofessional employees. We believe non-partisan control is what is best for our communities. This is best ensured when educational policy is made by representatives vested in the community they live, and whose undivided attention and interests are devoted strictly to education of the children in that district. What we stress in a nutshell: Public education is a federal concern, a state responsibility, and a local operation.

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