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Former sheriff earns master's

John Thompson • May 11, 2020 at 11:14 PM

Many of the men and women who received diplomas at East Tennessee State University will become a lot better known in the coming years as they pursue their careers, but one of the graduates was already known to most people of the region.

Former Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes added another accomplishment to his long list of accomplishments this weekend when he was awarded his master’s degree. Mathes earned academic honors cum laude, Alpha Phi Sigma, while earning his master’s degree in criminal justice.

This marks the second time Mathes has graduated from the university. He earned his bachelor of science degree in criminal justice in 1995. He graduated from Elizabethton High School in 1988.

Mathes has had a 28-year career in law enforcement. He served as sheriff of Carter County from 2006 to 2014. Before that, he served as a senior special agent during a 14-year career with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, serving in such drug hot spots as the Netherlands and South Florida. Prior to that, he service as a police officer and criminal investigator with the Johnson City Police Department.

Mathes is the son of Willie and Nancy Mathes, the husband of Melissa Mathes and the father of C.J. Mathes, 11, and Mia Mathes, 4. He is also the brother of Tim Mathes, who serves as a veteran Nashville firefighter and paramedic.