Ethics Commission: Sheriff's ethics allegations "frivolous, with - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Ethics Commission: Sheriff's ethics allegations "frivolous, without merit"

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BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

A Tennessee Ethics Commission ruled against the Bradley County Sheriff in an ethics claim.

Sheriff Jim Ruth alleged unethical and possible illegal activities of his political opponent for sheriff, State Representative Eric Watson, a former captain on the force.

READ MORE | Allegations fly in Bradley County sheriff race

In his complaint letter, Ruth suggests Watson used his last re-election campaign for State Representative as a way to fund his current run to become Bradley County's next sheriff.

The Ethics Commission ruled against Ruth saying his claims were without merit.

"I view Jim Ruth's complaint as frivolous and a borderline abuse of process, "said Tennessee Ethics Registry member Hank Fincher. "To me it looks like a cheap-shot campaign gimmick, trying to make something out of nothing. I'd expect better from an officer of the law." referring to Ruth."

"I have always stood for strong campaign ethics and finance laws for Tennessee and today's decision of the commission to dismiss Ruth's complaint as being without merit shows just that," says Watson. "One would expect Ruth to show up for this hearing. His failure to do so shows a complete lack of respect for the Tennessee Ethics commission, the citizens of Tennessee , the citizens of Bradley County, and further indicates he knew the allegations were frivolous, and nothing more then a cheap, dirty, political trick."

Watson went on to say the real losers in the process are the taxpayers who have to pay for the hearing.

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