© Screenshot from YouTube user wilmaciii
A 76-year-old military veteran was arrested for disorderly conduct at a public county board meeting for asking officials to speak up when they refused to use the microphones. The hearing was over a controversial new plant in the area.
The contentious meeting involved a group fighting a proposed US Nitrogen plant and its plans to build a pipeline that would empty into the nearby Nolichucky River in Greene County, Tenn. The meeting - promoted as being a public one - was Friday at 8 a.m., which citizens complained was designed to keep them from attending
In the meeting room, the county's board sat in a circle around a roped-off table at the front of the room, and did not use microphones or podium behind the table, several attendees said. At least four board members had their backs to the public viewing area.
"They, in writing, presented a 'public meeting', but did everything they could to confuse people as to when it would be, having during the worst time of day and while conducting it, making sure no could properly hear or understand what they were saying," Roberta Drake posted to the Save the Nolichucky Facebook page. "It was all a farce."
When citizens began complaining, Mayor Alan Broyles, who announced in January he would not be running for reelection, according to WJHL, warned, "If we have any more outbursts from the audience, you will be removed from the building."
At this point Eddie Bruce Overholt, who the Greeneville Sun describes as the owner of the popular CJ Papadops restaurant at Bybee and a well known figure in both Cocke County and western Greene County, stood up and said, "Would y'all speak up until the whole audience can hear you?"
Police, who were on standby at the meeting, then moved to Overholt and removed him from the room with his arms behind his back, as he asked, "Are you throwing me out from a public meeting?"