Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and his estranged wife Allison have struck a deal to settle their divorce, court records show.
Further from Jamie Satterfield’s News Sentinel report:
Under the terms of the deal, Burchett walks away with the marital home and half its contents. Allison Burchett currently is living in that home but must vacate it in 30 days.
Each had alleged the other was guilty of inappropriate marital conduct. Allison Burchett’s attorney, Martha Meares, had not filed any document specifying her claim against the mayor.
Burchett’s attorney, Albert Harb, however, did file a specific claim alleging Allison Burchett had cheated on her husband during the marriage.
Meares did not return a phone call seeking comment today.
Burchett said today the agreement will be final in 30 days.
“I’m convinced I have one of the best legal minds in the country in Albert Harb, who has handled this and advised me on it,” the mayor said.
The couple married in June 2008 and separated in March.
The divorce agreement, filed in Knox County Chancery Court, lists a separate confidential settlement agreement as having been reached. It does not state what that sealed agreement involves.
Burchett faces a hearing later this month before the state Registry of Election Finance over alleged irregularities involving campaign money. In 2010, Allison Burchett wrote six checks to herself totaling $15,053.56 from her husband’s mayoral election fund. Neither the checks nor what they were used for were reported in campaign disclosure statements. She also wrote a check to herself for $4,250 and listed it on a disclosure statement as reimbursement to a company that said it did not work for the Burchett campaign.
Allison Burchett allowed the News Sentinel to review the couple’s bank records. Deposits corresponding to the amounts of those checks were made to the Burchetts’ joint account.
She also later provided the News Sentinel with documents showing $2,000 in electronic donations that were not recorded on his campaign finance disclosure reports. In four other instances, a total of $1,600 was shifted from an “Elect Burchett” PayPal account, an online system that allows people and businesses to transfer money via email.
Burchett has blamed his estranged wife for the alleged campaign finance law violations and has said he left behind at their marital home “all of our banking and financial records, including campaign accounts and expenditures.” The divorce settlement does not specifically address those records or the campaign finance issue.