Commissioners Passed on Interim Sheriff Votes for a Reason

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MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — Commissioner Larry Lowrance is one of five commissioners who passed in both votes for interim sheriff. “I want to have a quick decision, but I want it to be the right decision,” Lowrance said. Doug Stephenson was another commissioner that passed, saying for him, it was a conflict of interest. He plans on applying for a position with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department. “What I would like to do is get people off the person and understand what are we gonna do to try and correct this situation,” says Stephenson. Of 25 commissioners, round one of voting looked like this: 9 voted for Sammy Britt, 11 for Tommy Cunningham, and 5 passed. Because a single candidate failed to get the required 13 votes, commissioners had to vote again, this time for Cunningham or no one. 12 voted for Cunningham, just one vote short of the majority. Since Cunningham didn’t get 13 votes to secure the appointment, commissioners voted to table the decision until the April 21st meeting. Lowrance says it was for good reason. “Debate just got cut off and no questions were asked of either candidate,” Lowrance says. County officials say commissioners could stall the appointment until the June 19 deadline. “There are quite a few egos in the way of moving forward,” Stephenson said. But Lowrance says it won’t be long until a decision is made. “I do not see this dragging on for months and months. I see it coming to a conclusion maybe even before the next meeting. Commissioners have 120 days from Feb. 18 to make a decision, meaning they could table this decision to June 19 if they wanted.

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