4th District Commissioner Howard Thompson turned himself in to the Bradley County Judicial Complex Friday morning. He was released on his own recognizance.
He had been indicted earlier this week by the Bradley County grand jury on one count of filing a false report and one count of attempted theft over $1,000.
Thompson said, “Several weeks ago, the law enforcement authorities in Bradley County searched my properties. As a result of that, I issued a statement in which I expressed my desire to cooperate with the state of Tennessee and law enforcement authorities in their investigation of this matter.
“Today (Friday), I voluntarily surrendered to the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department as a result of an indictment which has apparently been returned by the Bradley County Grand Jury. I have not yet seen the charges which have been placed against me; however, I have been told that I have been charged with the offense of attempted theft of over $1,000 and filing a false report or statement,” Thompson said in an issued statement.
According to 10th Judicial Assistant District Attorney Stephen Hatchett, the investigation into the allegations began in early December when the 10th Judicial District Drug Task Force conducted a routine traffic stop on a man who was suspected of possessing narcotics.
During the traffic stop, the man reportedly advised DTF agents he was in possession of stolen merchandise that he intended to sell to Thompson.
Thompson owns a flea market business, located at 5577 Waterlevel Highway.
On Dec. 22, 2010, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office investigators executed a search warrant at Thompson’s business and home, where detectives reportedly confiscated several items as part of the investigation. Thompson was then interviewed by investigators.
Louie Alford, chairman of the Bradley County Commission, said Thompson will remain on the County Commission until further notice; however, the Commission’s attorney, Joe Byrd, will be discussing the case with Thompson’s attorney, Jim Logan.
Thompson stepped down from the Bradley County Law Enforcement Committee, which he chaired, Jan. 3.
Thompson said throughout the investigation, he has received many calls of support from the community and personal visits.
“As I said when initially confronted with the investigation, I am truly sorry for any act of mine which would cause people to criticize anyone in the performance of their duties and responsibilities. As I said before, all I can and will do is cooperate and do the right thing,” he said.
A court date will be scheduled for Thompson this week.