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Tue Jun 5, 2012, 09:21 AM

Conservative Republican Knox County, TN Commissioner Jeff Ownby Arrested for Public Gay Oral Sex [View all]

Knox County Commissioner Jeff Ownby, arrested last week on an indecent exposure charge, will not resign from his 4th District seat and plans to attend Monday's board meeting to vote on the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, his attorney said Thursday.

In addition, defense attorney Gregory P. Isaacs lambasted the Tennessee Department of Children's Services for telling the News Sentinel and other local media outlets that three foster children were removed from Ownby's home as a result of the arrest.


Ownby, 45, a first-term commissioner, and John McCracken, 53, were arrested May 24 after police spotted the two performing oral sex on each other in Sharps Ridge Park in North Knoxville, according to court records. They were in public and did not attempt to hide their actions, the arrest warrant states.


Ownby, who was released on a $500 bond hours after his arrest, was elected to represent the West Knoxville district in August 2010. A Republican, he has taken mostly a conservative stance to county spending.


See also:

Commissioner Jeff Ownby
- 4th District


Guided by the United States Constitution and strong religious beliefs, Commissioner Ownby wants to serve the 4th District and Knox County, to ensure the citizens a voice in their local government. He wants to bring back a conservative fiscal approach and make certain the taxpayers’ money is wisely spent.

Jeff was born on April 12th, 1967, at Baptist Hospital in downtown Knoxville. He comes from a big family including four brothers and two sisters. Jeff and his high school sweetheart, Jayme Nelson Ownby, have been married for 22 years. Jeff and Jayme reside in West Knoxville with their two sons, Jeffrey Carl II and Jeremy Charles and 5 foster children.


State: 3 foster children removed from home of Knox Commissioner Jeff Ownby

Three foster children have been removed from the home of Knox County Commissioner Jeff Ownby and further admissions of children to the home have been suspended, a state department spokeswoman said Friday.

Molly Sudderth, director of communications at the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, said the department through the Florence Crittenton Agency had three children in the Ownby home at the time of his arrest Thursday afternoon on an indecent exposure charge.

On Friday morning, they were taken from the Ownby home and put in another home, according to Sudderth. No more admissions are being allowed there, she said.


Ownby is a longtime employee of Comcast. A Comcast vehicle was towed
Thursday from the Sharps Ridge scene and taken to the city's impound
lot, according to an employee of Clinton Highway Wrecker Service.


Ownby affair raises an age-old question


Doubtless some, if not many citizens of Knox County will call on Jeff Ownby to resign, as they believe his conduct didn’t just embarrass himself, but hurt his family and the foster children who we have to believe have been loved and well-cared for by the Ownbys. The issue citizens should be most interested in is not the fact that Commissioner Ownby was allegedly engaged in a homosexual encounter on Sharp’s Ridge, and it is not even the reality that if Ownby is guilty he has been unfaithful to his wife. Instead, Jeff Ownby’s chief political problem is that he disregarded his position as a Knox County Commissioner and the danger in which he might be placing that position-and with it perhaps the interests of his constituents-in order to enjoy what the writer to the Hebrews called “the pleasures of sin for a season.” (cf. Hebrews 11:25). In other words, Ownby disregarded his position and put it at risk, gambling that he would not be caught.

Jeff Ownby is far from alone in this kind of predicament in Tennessee politics. Former State Senator Paul Stanley (R-Memphis) was compelled to resign after he admitted to being blackmailed by the boyfriend of one of his interns. Stanley was blackmailed because he was having an affair with the young woman in question, her boyfriend knew it, and was attempting to extort money from Stanley in return for his silence. Paul Stanley was unwilling to be extorted, and it cost him his political career. Today, a repentant Stanley admits that he was not only wrong, but says that leaving office took him out of a situation that wasn’t healthy for the personal or spiritual life of the devout Christian who is presently the politics editor for the Christian Post. Politics doesn’t have to be a negative profession for everyone involved in it, but being around and involved in politics does take an unshakable moral resolve that you will not do things which you know could endanger your family or career.

For reasons yet unknown to this writer and to many others, political leaders with very public positions endanger themselves, their families, and their careers every day by engaging in behavior-sexual and otherwise-that could cause irreparable harm to their reputations because they believe that unlike others before them, they somehow won’t get caught. As we have seen, your sins will find you out-especially in politics. The question then must be asked to those whose reputations are harmed by their own actions: Was it worth the trouble it caused? Did you really believe that the rest of the world wouldn’t find out?


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Reply Conservative Republican Knox County, TN Commissioner Jeff Ownby Arrested for Public Gay Oral Sex [View all]
Ian David Jun 2012 OP
Drale Jun 2012 #1
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LiberalAndProud Jun 2012 #11
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