‘Unindicted co-conspirator’ identified in Armstrong case

From the News Sentinel:
Sam Anderson — longest-serving Knox County school board member, 34-year veteran of city government and community leader —is an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the tax-fraud case against state Rep. Joe Armstrong.

Anderson’s attorney, Bo Reed, confirmed Anderson partnered with Armstrong, D-Knoxville, in a cigarette tax stamp purchase that forms the basis of an indictment filed against the influential legislator.

Reed denied any wrongdoing on Anderson’s part.

“Mr. Anderson was served with a federal grand jury subpoena, testified truthfully and does not expect charges against him,” Reed said in a statement to the News Sentinel.

Armstrong, 58, was s indicted last week in U.S. District Court on charges he bartered his vote on a cigarette stamp tax hike in 2007 for the chance to buy the stamps through a wholesaler at the lower price and sell them at the more than tripled new rate.

Like Anderson, Armstrong denies his actions were criminal and vowed after his Friday arraignment on the fraud indictment that he “will be vindicated.”

Armstrong’s attorney, Gregory P. Isaacs, declined to comment Tuesday on Anderson’s role in the underlying tax stamp purchase and whether he expects Anderson to testify against Armstrong at his trial, which is set for August. The two are longtime friends.