Sheriff Candidate Interview Tapes To Be Made Available
By ADAM RUSSELL
The board of directors of Grassroots America voted unanimously to hold a one-time public viewing of the board's video interviews with the two remaining candidates in the run-off election for sheriff of Smith County.
The viewing will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lakeview Church of the Nazarene, 10818 University Blvd. in Tyler. The total run time of the videos is two hours and 15 minutes.
JoAnn Fleming, the group's executive director, consulted an attorney about personal statements made in the course of the interviews by one of the candidates.
Although the names used refer to individuals in their official capacities as elected officials, appointed officials or law enforcement officers, the board wanted to make sure the organization would not open itself up to litigation by offering these videos for a one-time viewing.
Candidate Chris Green's campaign had requested the tapes be made available to the public. Green, a retired game warden, and Larry Smith, a retired Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officer, will face each other in the July 31 GOP primary runoff. Because there is no Democrat running, the winner of the primary will become the next sheriff.
Green alleges the interview process was biased in favor of Smith, who was ultimately endorsed by the group. He could not be reached for comment.