published Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

TDEC official demoted after terrorism remark

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A state environmental official who said unfounded water quality complaints could be considered acts of terrorism has been demoted.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation confirmed Sherwin Smith, who was formerly deputy director of the Division of Water Resources, has been returned to his previous position.

Department spokeswoman Meg Lockhart told The Tennessean Smith is again working with the Revolving Fund Program, which helps fund water projects in the state. Lockhart said it’s her understanding that Smith’s salary is less than what he was formerly making.

At a May 29 meeting in Columbia, Smith was recorded telling a meeting called to discuss water quality complaints in Mount Pleasant that people who complain need to be certain there’s a basis for it.

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