WATCH: Ex-Commissioner Speeds But Shows Badge and Gets Out of Traffic Ticket

Knox County Commission candidate R. Larry Smith

An at-large County Commission candidate, also an ex-commissioner, got out of a speeding ticket in December after flashing a badge to a Knox County deputy.

R. Larry Smith was pulled over for going 60 mph on East Emory Road. The entire incident is captured on Sgt. Dustin Farmer’s police body cam.

“The reason I pulled you over is you were doing 60 (mph) back there on East Emory, OK,” Farmer said. “And normally that wouldn’t be a big issue, but there is just a lot of people coming through there right now, OK. I understand you’re in a hurry to get where you’re going and it’s New Year’s and the holidays, all right.”

Farmer asked Smith to show some identification and Smith haphazardly pulled out the badge while pulling out his ID.

“It’s all right, it’s all right,” Farmer said while waving his hand.

“All right, thank you, bud,” Smith said.

Knox County Sheriff Office spokeswoman Martha Dooley said the badge Smith pulled out is not the current badge used by anyone at the Sheriff’s office.

“It’s a different badge. I will tell you that. We changed over,” she said. “The current badge is circular with a star inside it.”

When reached by phone Friday night, Smith said the badge is a sheriff’s office-issued handgun carry permit he got in 2014. He said it expires later this year. He did not have a handgun in his vehicle when he was pulled over.

“I did not flash a badge as seen on the video. I did not flash a badge,” Smith said.

“(It was a) handgun carry permit issued to me on Oct. 8, 2014, issued to me by the Knox County Sheriff Office. I didn’t ask for any special treatment.

“I did not request not to be cited for the traffic violation,” he continued. “It was his decision not to ticket me.”

Dooley said the sheriff’s office is looking into the incident. She said the body cam video is legitimate.

“R. Larry Smith does have an active special deputy card that allows him to carry a weapon,” Dooley said in an emailed statement. “He was issued the card when he was a Knox County Commissioner and has renewed it ever since then.

“It’s up to the officer’s discretion in most incidents whether a warning or a ticket will be issued. Officer Farmer stated he had been warning drivers on Emory Road and intended to do the same when he stopped Smith.”

A star-shaped badge appears in former Knox County Commissioner R. Larry Smith’s wallet as he retrieves identification after being stopped for speeding.

Smith served two terms on commission representing North Knox County’s 7th District before leaving office because of term limits.

The USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee reported in October that a prosecutor decided not to press sexual battery charges against Smith although the alleged victim was “very credible.

Smith was accused of inappropriately touching the woman in her home while he was selling insurance on Feb. 27, 2017, according to the investigative file obtained by the USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee. The woman said she was a friend of Smith’s family.