Potter seeks to resign from Jail Mitigation Committee

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By Goose Lindsay

Morgan County Sheriff Wayne Potter is asking to be removed as a voting member of the Morgan County Jail Mitigation Committee.

Potter made his request at last week’s committee meeting. He doesn’t feel he should have a vote considering he will be the lead administrator at a new jail/justice center.

“I feel like it’s a conflict of interest and also I’ve talked to several other sheriff’s throughout the state of Tennessee and none of them feel like I should be on this board,” Potter said to the committee. “None of them that have built jails in the past have been on this board and there is even a TCA (Tennessee Code Annotated) code that will support that, which I sent out in my email basically stating that it is left up to the legislative body to build a jail.”

Sheriff Potter referenced the following TCA codes in his email to the committee:

• 5-7-104. Required structures.
It is the duty of the county legislative body to erect a courthouse, jail, and other necessary county buildings.

• 5-7-106. Construction and maintenance costs Tax levy.
The county buildings are to be erected and kept in order and repair at the expense of the county, under the direction of the county legislative body, and it may levy a special tax for this purpose.

Potter, however, told the committee he is not washing his hands of the process, and wants to help in any way he can.

“I’m still going to be here,” he said. “I’ll be at each meeting and I’ll still be a part of it. I’ll still be a voice for anyone that wants to ask me questions. I just don’t feel like I should have a voting right on what you do as far as building a jail.”

The committee, made up of six county commissioners, Morgan County Executive Brian Langley and others involved with the justice process did not take any action on Potter’s request, saying it would have to be brought before the whole Morgan County Commission.