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Crowley suit against Yeager can proceed

It has not been a banner couple of weeks for Anderson County Law Director Jay Yeager. Monday, WYSH revealed the existence of emails between Yeager and then-Human Resources Director Russell Bearden that contradict Yeager’s public statements and two sworn statements from Bearden that the Law Director did not know of allegations of sexual harassment against Circuit Court Clerk William Jones leveled in 2015 until last fall. You can read more about that story on our website, wyshradio.com.

Last month, a federal judge ruled that a lawsuit filed against Yeager by County Public Works Director and Building Commissioner David Crowley for malicious prosecution can proceed, rejecting Yeager’s bid to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Crowley was appointed to his position shortly after the election of County Mayor Terry Frank in November of 2012. Crowley did not have the certifications necessary to conduct building inspections, but as the judge’s ruling indicates, that was not necessarily his job. Building inspector Lisa Crumpley was inspecting buildings but as it turns out, also did not have the necessary certifications, unbeknownst to Crowley and Frank. Crowley, under state law, had one year from the time of his first inspection in February of 2013 to obtain his certifications, but in January of 2014, Yeager told the County Commission that Crowley had been carrying out inspections without the proper certifications, which Yeager said was a misdemeanor.

The judge’s ruling in favor of Crowley states that rather than waiting for Commission to act, Yeager went to his “close personal friend,” District Attorney General Dave Clark and claimed that Crowley’s actions “posed an immediate danger to life, safety and the welfare of others.”

The judge opined that Yeager omitted “facts material to the prosecution” when speaking to Clark, who eventually sought and obtained an indictment against Crowley on five misdemeanor charges. The judge also cited what he called the “ongoing political battle” with Mayor Frank, before ruling that Yeager “may have acted intentionally or recklessly in making false statements or omissions that were material to the prosecution.”

In spring of 2016, an Anderson County jury acquitted Crowley on all of those charges.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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2 comments

  1. IMHO In one corner you have a narcissistic liar and in the other corner there’s another narcissistic liar. I worked there for years and the county would be better off if they were both gone.

    Many good Anderson County employees have left due to the childish antics of the mayor, Yeager and Crowley. All us us who left agree that the leadership in the county is toxic, terrible and unhealthy. The county leadership, the mayor, law director Crowley and a couple commissioners, are something like how Jesus described some Pharisees, “whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” They, “appear to people as righteous but on the inside [they] are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

    They both have their supporters and detractors, every narcissist does though.

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