The (well-founded) rumor that I reported on Thursday turned out to be on-the-money.
Jeff Gardner was indeed named Hamblen County Administrator of Elections at a public meeting on Friday of the Hamblen County Election Commission. The job pays $62,000/year plus all kinds of benefits.
The Trib posted an online report of the meeting here. [Usual Trib caution: The link only works for a short time. The Trib disables its links quickly so that people can only access online stories for a short period. Such a shame. The Knoxville News-Sentinel leaves its links up for weeks, months, and longer.].
The Trib reported that Gardner had resigned as head of the Hamblen County GOP at some time prior to the meeting. The Trib didn't report that Gardner had also turned in his resignation from his regular job at Allied EMS before his appointment yesterday. That seems like a newsworthy piece of information that was totally ignored by the Trib.
Gardner was obviously confident about what would happen during deliberations and discussion at the public meeting to go on and resign from his bread-and-butter job before being officially appointed. Actually, if the Trib report is correct, there were no deliberations or discussions about the appointment at the meeting. Nominate Gardner, wait a decent interval, close the nominations, and it's a done-deal.
Last week, the Trib reported that there were only 4 applicants and provided the names. Yesterday's article stated that there were 9 applicants but the names of the additional five applicants were not mentioned. There was also no mention as to whether there were any interviews of the applicants.
To help Mr. Gardner out, the Election Commission evidently approved paying Neal--at her current daily rate of about $250/day--to assist Mr. Gardner on occasion.