Knox County purchasing director resigns over harassment allegations, then hired by sheriff’s office

Hugh Holt

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knox County’s purchasing director Hugh Holt resigned from his position effective Friday to avoid being fired over allegations he harassed a subordinate, but was hired Monday by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office to serve in a similar position for that agency.

Holt’s personnel record with the county indicates he was the subject of a human resources investigation over harassing behavior towards a subordinate employee, but decided to resign to avoid termination. Holt had been with the county since April 1987.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office, meanwhile, announced Monday they had hired Holt as their procurement director.

“We are a large enough organization that we need a director. We’ve been talking about it for years and now we’ve been able to get the best person for the job,” said Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones in a statement.

A procurement director is in charge of contracts and purchasing agreements. Knox County spokesman Michael Grider says procurement activities will continue as normal until Holt’s position is filled and the duties will be fulfilled by Knox County Finance Director Chris Caldwell until then.

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