Cross stays, Reed resigns

After 15 years of service as the Scott County Medicolegal Death Investigator, Jim Reed has resigned his position following the formal acceptance of Trent Cross’s resignation as fifth district commissioner forcing no necessary action to be taken to

remove Cross from his position as the county’s Medical Examiner.

Reed’s surprise resignation came in front of the Scott County Commissioners on January 22, 2018, during their regularly scheduled meeting. Reed approached the body following their decision to take no action on Mayor Dale Perdue’s request to remove Cross as the county’s examiner. Reed spoke with The Scott County News after the meeting regarding his resignation and his joy of the position.

“I’ve been doing this a long time, and what I learned was under Dr. Huff.  I learned to follow the lines as close as possible, and I can’t do that now. It’s just something I enjoyed doing, and I still enjoy doing,” Reed stated. “I’ve just got some constraints holding me back right now, and I felt it was the right time.”

The Former medical examiner Reed worked closely with for most of his term, Dr. Max Huff, passed away in 2015.  After there were no interested parties Cross was appointed to the position without pay. No compensation was a stipulation in the arrangement in order to prevent a conflict of interest from occurring. In 2016 Cross’s funds were reinstated to him.

The Tennessee Comptroller’s office subsequently performed an audit in 2017, finding Cross to be serving as a compensated County Medical Examiner and compensated County Commissioner. The findings put Scott in violation of a state law, and corrective action was left in the hands of Mayor Dale Perdue and the commission with an anticipated resolve date of January 30,2018.

On January 2, 2018, during the Intergovernmental Committee meeting, Perdue presented each commissioner in attendance with a resolution to remove Cross from his position as examiner. The matter was voted on unanimously and passed on for the next full court meeting.

Prior to that meeting, Cross penned his resignation dated January 15. On January 22, the commission accepted the fifth district commissioner’s resignation effective January 30. With Cross no longer holding two compensated county positions the body found no conflict of interest.  During the same meeting, County Attorney John Beaty spoke letting each commissioner know that there was no need to act on Perdue’s proposal to remove Cross as examiner and no action was taken.

Cross’s position will be advertised, and applicants accepted until February 16,2018 at noon. The commission is expected to fill his position at their next meeting the following week.

Reed’s jaw dropping resignation was also accepted by the commission on January 22, and will be effective as of January 31. According to Reed, the person who fills his shoes must be an Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, or Nurse. The chosen party will need to be sent out of state for training.

After the meeting, Perdue expressed his appreciation for the work Reed had done over the years along with his sorrow for the loss. “I am very sorry that we are going to lose him, because he has done a wonderful job over the years,” Perdue stated. “The county will greatly miss him, and I hope that there is a possibility he will reconsider.”