For the second time in less than a year, I have been attacked both verbally or physically by Mr. Fred Nelson, general manager of the Lenoir City Utility Board and father-in-law of Lenoir City Mayor, Matt Brookshire. The first time was about a year ago when I was the target of a profanity filled phone conversation with Mr. Nelson. Mr. Nelson stated that he was going to kill me, break my ******* neck, cut off my ************* head, shove a fire plug up my ****** A**, and so on and so forth. This tirade came after I published a story concerning replacement of a fire hydrant beside mayor Brookshire's house. 

The most recent attack was last Monday, 11/5/07, at the Loudon County Commission meeting. Mr. Nelson and city attorney, Shannon Littleton, apparently attended the meeting to hear the commission vote on the proposed Overholt TIF request strongly supported by LCUB.

As I was standing on the sidewalk near the entrance to the commission meeting room, on his way in, Mr. Nelson stopped in front of me looked my way for a few seconds the said, "you are a S** of a B****". Then he said "your an A** Hole. I asked him what his problem was, he said "you are". By this time he was in my face. I said, so what do you want me to do about it? He said, "take a swing at me, come on, take a swing. I said, you would like that wouldn't you. At that point, Mr. Nelson shoved me backwards and began to lunge toward me both hands reaching for my neck. Former sheriff deputy and Loudon County BOE member, Larry Proaps, realizing what was happening, grabbed Nelson from behind pulling him away from me. With Proaps still holding him, Nelson tried once more to reach me. Lenoir City director of schools, Wayne Miller, assisted Proaps in restraining Nelson for a second time. Lenoir City Attorney, Littleton, told Nelson repeatedly to stop what he was doing and get in the building. On duty Loudon County Sheriff Deputy, Sonny Routson, who was standing nearby, told those restraining Nelson to get him in the building. The whole affair lasted about thirty seconds. These were the actions of the manager of the one of the largest utilities in the southeast.

I could have and probably should have, as many suggested, had Mr. Nelson arrested for assault. I'm sure his arrest would have made headlines across the state. But, having Mr. Nelson's mug shot and arrest story plastered all over the media would do no more than perpetuate the view many have of all of us as rabble rousing hicks.  Besides, I'm not from the world where we use the legal system to settle every little spat. However, one can only tolerate so much verbal and physical abuse from another before seeking the appropriate recourse.  

Obviously, Mr. Nelson, and I'm sure others, don't like some of the stories I publish on this site and I can understand that. Shining the light of truth on some of the shenanigans that go on in our community is bound to make some uncomfortable and others down right angry from time to time. Here's my challenge to those, don't get mad, prove me wrong.

If Mr. Nelson actions were meant to scare or intimidate me, they did neither. Mr. Nelson's violent, profanity filled outburst in such a public place and in front of men, women and children is just unacceptable behavior for anyone let alone a man in his position. Mr. Nelson owes a public apology to all those who were subjected to his rant.