By MARINA WATERS
A member of the Washington County Board of Education has been arrested for the second time in two months.
According to a Johnson City Police report, David Hammond was arrested on Thursday, April 18, and charged with violation of an order of protection, which resulted from the situation that resulted in Hammond’s arrest on Friday, March 22. Hammond was charged with simple domestic assault during the March arrest.
According to the report, police arrived at Hammond’s residence at 115 Beechnut St. on Tuesday, April 16, after Hammond’s girlfriend called 911, claiming he was holding her hostage. The report also says police found the two walking out of the apartment. She said she had been in contact with Hammond and came to his apartment to “spend time with him.”
Following the second arrest, BOE Attorney Scott Bennett released a statement saying that because the case is in the hands of the court and is not a board matter, Hammond “has all the rights and duties of any board member until a court declares otherwise.”
As for the board, BOE Chairman Keith Ervin said all the board can do is wait for the court’s decision.
“I do not like the prestige,” Ervin said. “The Washington County School System does not need that kind of press. We just have to deal with it.”
There has been no change in Hammond’s status as a BOE member. Ervin said Hammond has the option of resigning, but he has no requirement to do so.
“The attorney says we can tell him if we don’t like it,” Ervin said. “We can ask him to resign, but he wouldn’t have to if he doesn’t want to.”
According to state law, an elected official can be censured as a way of expressing disapproval or voters can create a petition for a recall of an election official’s position. TCA 8‑47‑101 states that county officials may be ousted from office for “committing any act violating any penal statute involving moral turpitude.”
Hammond appeared in court on Monday, April 22 and waived a preliminary hearing for the assault charge. He is scheduled to return to court on July 31.