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Ronnie Phillips appointed sheriff by commissioners

Ronnie Phillips is sworn in by Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals after being appointed Scott County's sheriff Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.

HUNTSVILLE, Tenn. — By a 13-0 vote, Scott County's Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday promoted Scott County Sheriff's Department chief deputy Ronnie Phillips to sheriff, to fulfill the remaining term of the late Mike Cross.

Sheriff Cross died in December of a rare form of melanoma. Sheriff Phillips will serve until Aug. 31, 2014. The next election is scheduled for Aug. 7, 2014.

Sheriff Phillips served as chief deputy for the duration of Sheriff Cross's term, and was a corporal at Oneida Police Department in Oneida, Tenn., before that.

He was one of two candidates to file an application for the sheriff vacancy, the other being Bobby Ellis. Mr. Ellis served as chief deputy of the Scott County Sheriff's Department from 2006 through 2010, and served as acting sheriff of the department for two months in 2010 after then-Sheriff Anthony Lay resigned.

Tuesday's proceeding by Scott County Commission involved County Mayor Jeff Tibbals reading aloud the applicants for the position, followed by each commissioner — in alphabetical order — naming his or her choice.

Mayor Tibbals swore in Sheriff Phillips immediately after the vote was taken.

"I want to thank the commissioners and Mayor Tibbals for their support and for their vote of confidence," Sheriff Phillips said. "I also want to thank my officers who came out to support me and commend them for their professionalism.

"Sheriff Cross and I set out with plans (in 2010) to better the Sheriff's Department," Sheriff Phillips added. "We had completed some of those together to make this a department the citizens of Scott County could be proud of and proud to call their Sheriff's Department. There are some things we didn't get to complete together, and I hope to continue on with those plans and make the department even better."

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