Harber investigation moves from committee to commission

KNOXVILLE (WATE) — It will soon be up to the Knox County Commission whether to investigate claims made by a former county employee that he was a political operative for county Mayor Mike Ragsdale.

According to the Halls Shopper, Tyler Harber claims that while working for the county’s pre-trial and probation office his real job was to do politics for Mayor Ragsdale.

After a brief discussion of the matter in a meeting Monday morning, the inter-governmental committee has agreed to ask county commission for an investigation into Harber’s activities with the county.

District 6 Commissioner Greg Lambert is heading the request for the probe. He says fellow commissioners have been eyeing the allegations by Harber since they’ve been made.

“These are very serious allegations being made. There’s a strong need to investigate so if anyone is guilty in this matter, we can find out. And so those who are innocent, and I’m sure there are probably more innocent than not, that their good names can be cleared,” Lambert says.

Mayor Ragsdale’s office handed out a statement responding to the allegations.

The mayor says all the accusations are false. Ragsdale offers sworn statements from different county officials discrediting Harber’s claims.

The final decision on whether to investigate will go before full commission at the meeting next Monday, October 23.

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