Merit Board reinstates fired Highland Lake police officer

The Blount County Merit Board reinstated Herbert Wesley “Buck” Buchanan to his former job as a police officer at Highland Lake as of Feb. 8, 2019. He was cleared to return to duty on April 9, 2019, after serving a 60-day suspension without pay.

“We’re satisfied with the Merit Board’s decision,” said Brett King, Buchanan’s attorney for the proceeding. “We had asked for immediate reinstatement to his job, but I believe the Merit Board was fair, and I understand the ruling. Buck is a good guy and a quality law enforcement officer. A good indication of that is that he was offered a job during this process by Blount County Sheriff Mark Moon. But we’re content with the outcome,” he said.

The ruling followed an appeal by Buchanan of his termination by Highland Lake following a dispute over a Facebook comment involving a town council member earlier this year.