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Friday, August 5, 2016

EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS: Councilman Jesse Kerley facing assault charges against Pete Souza

District Attorney Bryant Dunaway looked into an incident that occurred after a Crossville city council meeting on June 2nd between council members Jesse Kerley and Pete Souza and Friday afternoon Kerley came to the sheriff's for booking on a summons accusing him of assault.

After Kerley was served with the summons, he told this reporter he was going to the magistrate to take out a cross warrant on Mr. Souza but he was unable to do so.

The charges are misdemeanor charges and would be initially heard in Cumberland County general sessions court.  A court date of August 29, 2016 at 8:30 AM has been set for an initial appearance.

This reporter spent much of the afternoon attempting to secure a copy of the summons document but was told the sheriff's department couldn't release it and that four fax attempts to the clerk's office failed.  As best we can ascertain, the summons is signed by Mr. Souza, but until we have a copy of the paper work we can not determine the details of the charge.

A copy is supposed to be available next week.

Councilman Jesse Kerley leaves the Cumberland Co. Justice Center 
with a copy of his summons in hand.

Video from Crossville city hall surveillance camera showing the incident 
that took place June 2 after a city council meeting.

Crossville city councilman Jesse Kerley

Crossville city councilman Pete Souza

Following the incident then police chief Rod Shoap received a copy of the video after copies had been given to councilman Kerley and interim city manager Steve Hill.  From the reports given to Shoap following the incident and his review of the video he filed an incident report on the matter.

Excerpt from Chief Shoap's report of the incident reads: “At about 6:50 pm the meeting adjourned and an altercation took place by the exit doors located on the north side of city hall on the 2nd floor. Councilman Kerley and Councilman Souza are both complainants in the issue and both are requesting reports of the incident.

Jerry Kerley stated to me that as he exited the building, words were spoken between him and Councilman Souza. Councilman Kerley stated that Councilman Souza turned to Jerry Kerley and began raising his voice. At that point Councilman Kerley approached Councilman Souza and the altercation occurred.

Councilman Souza said that he was leaving the building, going through the door as Jerry Kerley said something to him. Councilman Souza turned to hear Jerry Kerley mention the painting of signs at which point he was trying to make a point about the signs when Councilman Kerley interrupted and the altercation took place.

The terms of both councilmen expire this year following the November 8 elections.  So far Mr. Kerley has taken out papers to run but not returned them and Mr. Souza has not picked up papers to run.  Souza lost a race against incumbent property assessor Dave Simcox in the August 4 election.

The deadline to qualify for the council election in November is August 18 at noon.


  1. If you were an honest broker of the news you would have also said that Souza never put up one sign or took out one add to run for property assessor.

    1. "Honest" says the man using a fake name. Hello Jeff Dahlberg.

  2. Isn't this the second time now tat councilman Kerley has been arrested?

    1. First time the charges were dismissed