Former Unicoi County Sheriff Kent Harris “is being subjected to selective prosecution” according to a motion for dismissal in the official misconduct case filed in Unicoi County Criminal Court on Monday.
According to the motion, filed by Harris' attorney, James T. Bowman, “the alleged basis for this prosecution is that on Nov. 11, 2011, Kent Harris, exercising his authority as Sheriff, directed an employee in his office (i.e., an employee of Unicoi County) to type a letter inviting the public or selected members to attend a rally in support of him. Among other things the letter stated that those who wished to contribute to a legal defense fund to be established on his behalf, could do so at this rally. The state alleged that such conduct constitutes Official Misconduct in that such conduct constitutes an unauthorized exercise of official power.”
The motion continues saying that the countys current sheriff, Mike Hensley, participated in the same type of conduct less than a year later.
For the remainder of this article please see the May 21, 2013 edition of The Erwin Record.
By Dee Goodin