News release from TBI:
KNOXVILLE – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has investigated a case of illegal voter registration fraud in Scott County which resulted in the indictment and arrest of an Oneida couple.
Thirty-seven-year-old Christina Botts and her husband, Carrie Botts, 29, were arrested last evening on indictments returned by the Scott County grand jury yesterday. Christina Botts was indicted on 13 counts of illegal voter registration fraud and Carrie Botts indicted on one count of illegal voter registration fraud.
In October of 2012, the 8th Judicial District Attorney General requested TBI to investigate allegations of the couple fraudulently registering voters in Scott County.
Christina Botts registered 43 individuals during September 2012 and Carrie Botts registered one person and forged a signature on the voter registration application. They were altering address information on voter registration forms so it would appear the individuals lived in the city of Huntsville. The Scott County Sheriff’s Office was also involved in the case.
Both were taken into custody at a relative’s residence in Helenwood yesterday. Christina Botts was booked into the Scott County Jail on $25,000 bond. Carrie Botts bond was set at $1,500.
News release from TBI:
Union County, Tenn. – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation presented its case to the Union County grand jury this week which resulted in the indictments of seven individuals for providing drugs or assisting in the introduction of the drugs into the Union County Jail.
Union County Jail inmates provided information to jail officials that drugs were illegally provided to an inmate in the jail who later died at Tennova Hospital in Knoxville. An autopsy performed on the deceased inmate failed to determine that the drugs were the cause of death. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, after conducting an investigation into the matter, obtained indictments against seven individuals for either providing the drugs or assisting in the introduction of the drugs into the penal facility.
Allen Wilkerson, 48, and Dakota Kidd, 20, were indicted on five separate counts of Conspiracy to Deliver Schedule II and Schedule IV, Conspiracy to Introduce Contraband into a Penal Facility, Introduction of Contraband into a Penal Facility and Possession of Contraband in a Penal Facility. Sheridan Brogdon, 29, Albert Allen, 31, Robin Wilkerson, 43, Cregory Thatcher, 26, and Johnny Johnson, 32, were all indicted on six separate counts of Conspiracy to Deliver Schedule II and Schedule IV, Conspiracy to Introduce Contraband into a Penal Facility, Introduction of Contraband into a Penal Facility and Delivery of Schedule II and Schedule IV.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals and Union County Sheriff’s Office affected the arrest of these seven individuals.
The 8th Judicial District Attorney and the Union County Sheriff’s Office requested that TBI investigate the incident.
A Johnson City man was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday in Nashville on 10 counts of sending threatening letters, including to Gov. Bill Haslam, that falsely claimed they contained anthrax, reports The Tennessean. Branden Frady, 32, is accused of sending six threatening letters between Sept. 10 and Sept. 18 to government officials from his prison cell at Riverbend Maximum Security Institute in Nashville.
Four of the six letters contained white powder that Frady claimed was anthrax, a deadly bacteria used in a series of bioterrorism attacks after Sept. 11, 2001. But none of the letters actually contained the deadly spores.
The letters were sent to Haslam, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, the U.S. Post Office and an assistant district attorney general for the 20th Judicial District of Tennessee in Nashville. The letters also made explicit death threats against the officials, according to Martin.
“Threats involving the use of weapons of mass destruction cause significant disruption in the workplace and to government operations,” the U.S. attorney (Jerry E. Martin) said in a news release. “Such threats often exhaust public safety resources and cause needless harm to the public. For those who choose to engage in such conduct, the U.S. Attorney’s office and our law enforcement partners will act swiftly to neutralize the threat, identify those responsible and bring them to justice.”
In one alleged incident in September, Frady sent a letter to the Office of the District Attorney General that contained a white powder substance. The letter contained statements such as, “Here is some anthrax,” “You got to die” and “I will kill you.”
…The letter to Haslam contained threats but no white powder. A second letter to Haslam said, “This time I am sending you some anthrax” and “You will die.” The letter did not contain a white powder.
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Grand jurors in Greeneville have indicted state Rep. David Hawk on a felony reckless endangerment count after a March incident involving his estranged wife.
The Greeneville Sun (http://bit.ly/UZLcvg ) reported the indictment was returned Monday by a Greene County grand jury, which declined to formally charge the Republican lawmaker with domestic assault.
The indictment states Hawk recklessly caused bodily injury to his spouse, Crystal Goan Hawk.
Hawk has maintained he is innocent of the charges. He is scheduled to appear Friday for arraignment in Greene County Criminal Court.
Excerpt from the Greeneville Sun story: Hawk, who has maintained his innocence in connection with the charges, is scheduled to appear Friday morning for arraignment in Greene County criminal court.
“We weren’t aware there was a second count,” he said.
Hawk emphasized what he has said all along about the allegations in the case: “I strongly maintain my innocence and I’ve done nothing wrong,” he said.
Hawk was surprised he was not notified about the grand jury’s actions.
“We’ve heard nothing about this. This is bizarre,” he said. “This was reported before we were notified of anything.”
News release from TBI:
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office have investigated a case against a former Hawkins County, Tenn. judge which has resulted in him being indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury on forty-one counts of theft.
Former Hawkins County General Sessions Court Judge James “Jay” Taylor, age 41, of Rogersville, Tenn. was indicted on 36 counts of theft more than $500 and less than $1,000, three counts of theft over $1,000 and two counts of theft less than $500. Taylor turned himself into authorities on the charges this morning and was booked into the Davidson County Jail.
Between September 15, 2010 and July 27, 2011, Taylor filed numerous false claims with the Administrative Office of the Courts requesting payment for services as appointed legal counsel in cases where he did not perform legal services.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation into allegations of bribery and theft against Taylor at the request of the 3rd Judicial District Attorney General’s Office in August of 2011. The theft offenses named in the indictments occurred in Davidson County where the Administrative Office of the Courts is located and are being prosecuted by the Davidson County District Attorney General’s Office and Tennessee Attorney General’s Office.
TBI’s investigation on Taylor in Hawkins County is currently open and ongoing. Taylor’s bond in the Davidson County Jail is set at $175,000.
Nearly three months after a Unicoi County grand jury indicted Sheriff Kent Harris on 10 felony charges, the county is maintaining a “wait-and-see” approach on what to do about the sheriff, reports the Johnson City Press. County officials are still waiting on action from the state attorney general’s office before making any moves of their own regarding Harris’ position, according to County Mayor Greg Lynch.
“It’s not anything that’s dead in the water,” Lynch said. “It’s on hold right now.”
In late October, the County Commission heard from County Attorney Doug Shults who, at that time, told the commission that he had received information from District Attorney General Tony Clark that the state attorney general’s office was looking into civil actions relative to Harris’ removal from office.
On Oct. 14, a grand jury returned 10 true bills charging Harris with 10 felonies, including six counts of official misconduct and one count each of tampering with evidence, theft over $1,000, criminal simulation and attempted aggravated assault.
Ouster proceedings can be initiated by the state attorney general’s office, the district attorney general’s office or the county. Should the County Commission seek the ouster, the costs associated with the proceedings would fall to the county.
News release from comptroller’s office:
An investigation by the Comptroller’s Division of Municipal Audit and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has led to the indictment of former Winchester finance director Mary Faye Morrow for the theft of more than $150,000 from the City of Winchester.
Investigators found that Ms. Morrow took many checks written to the city from the county court clerk for General Sessions and Circuit Court fines and fees to a nearby bank and converted them into cashier’s checks and cash. In a letter to city officials released today, Dennis Dycus, the director of the Comptroller’s Division of Municipal Audit, noted that the cash was never deposited into a city bank account and the cashier’s checks were later swapped for additional cash amounts taken from other city accounts.
Investigators found that during a six-and-a-half year period, ending when Ms. Morrow retired in December 2010, she had misappropriated more than $133,000 in checks from court fines and fees. Investigators also discovered more than $19,000 in cash seized from narcotics arrests was turned directly over to Morrow, but never deposited into the city’s bank account.
The Comptroller’s investigators attribute the theft to the city’s lack of separation of duties. Ms. Morrow receipted city collections, opened the mail and prepared bank deposits. As a result, she was able to perpetrate check-cashing and check-swapping schemes. Auditors recommend that no single employee be responsible for all aspects of financial transactions to safeguard against fraud.
“It is disappointing when people abuse positions of public trust,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “It’s true at any time, but particularly during difficult economic times, local governments cannot afford to lose public funds to fraud, waste or abuse. I encourage anyone who has credible information that fraud, waste or abuse is occurring in local government to call our hotline at 1-800-232-5454.”
To view the audit online, go to: http://www.comptroller1.state.tn.us/RA_MA/.
News release from TBI:
Knoxville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation served a criminal summons this afternoon by order of a judge on the current Unicoi County Sheriff Kent Harris on multiple felony charges after he was indicted by the Unicoi County Grand Jury on Friday, October 14, 2011.
Harris was indicted on six counts official misconduct, one count of theft over $1,000, one count of tampering with evidence, one count of criminal simulation and one count of attempted aggravated assault. TBI began the investigation into allegations of misconduct made against Harris in September of 2010 after being requested by the 1st Judicial District Attorney General’s Office. The six counts of official misconduct stem from incidences on June 23 through 24, June 30, July 12 through July 13, July 15, July 17 and July 19 of 2010 when Harris had inmates at the Unicoi County Jail perform labor on property on North Mohawk Drive in Erwin, Tenn. that Harris owns.
Additionally on September 6, 2008, Harris altered or destroyed a record related to evidence or the evidence itself that was part of investigation which is considered tampering with evidence. He also made or altered a memo requesting payment from Unicoi County for a vehicle that was donated to the county resulting in the criminal simulation charge. The theft incident occurred on September 23, 2008, when Harris received $4,500 that was property of the county. Most recently, on July 21, 2011, Harris attempted to assault another man with a deadly weapon.
Harris has to appear in court within ten days to be processed.