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Knox worker fired after caught with cocaine, pills in county SUV

Rebecca Ferrar, Knoxville News-Sentinel • Oct 3, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KNOXVILLE — A Knox County engineering department employee was fired Sept. 7, two days before he pleaded guilty to simple possession of cocaine, reckless endangerment and violating the implied consent law by refusing to take a breathalyzer test - all while driving a county vehicle, according to court records and county officials.

The charges against James Darrell Hickman by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department date back to Jan. 24, but Hickman's supervisor, Chris Granju, director of county storm-water programs, learned of the incident through another employee on Sept. 3. Granju then notified Bruce Wuethrich, director of Engineering and Public Works, who fired Hickman.

Hickman, 50, of 6610 Westland Drive, a former transportation engineer, was initially charged with DUI, violating the implied consent law, possession of cocaine for sale, possession of Xanax for sale, possession of a handgun while under the influence and filing the serial number off a .38-caliber revolver, according to a preliminary investigative report by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

Read the full report at The Knoxville News Sentinel.

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