UPDATE: Charges against Bradley County Sheriff dropped
The 12 felony counts came from Watson's failure to pay taxes on vehicles he sold in Tennessee.
UPDATE: Charges against Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson have been dropped.
The 12 felony counts came from Watson's failure to pay fees and taxes on vehicles he bought in Florida and later sold in Tennessee.
Watson "rectified" the situation by paying the state the taxes and fees, prompting District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn to no longer pursue the case.
Dunn said in a news release that said:
"After conferring with my staff and searching my own conscience, I will not proceed further with this case. Even though there may be technical violations of the law, the spirit of the law seeks to punish fraudulent conduct that deprives the State of Tennessee of its lawful taxes and fees and since Sheriff Watson rectified this failure prior to the seeking of the presentment, this case will be closed with a dismissal of the case on all counts."
Watson issued a news release Thursday afternoon, saying:
"I am so thankful for the words of support and encouragement for the last 18 months, when I had to face the allegations and accusations that was made against me. I have maintained my faith in the judicial system to prove my innocence.
It is the utmost importance to me that Bradley County residents know that employees at the Bradley County Sheriff's Office have consistently provided this community great law- enforcement services throughout this ordeal.”
Watson held a news conference Friday morning.
PREVIOUS STORY: A judge denied the motion to dismiss felony charges against Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson.
The charges stem from Watson allegedly buying 11 used police vehicles at auctions out of state to sell in Tennessee.
The law in Tennessee states the maximum a person can sell without an auto dealer's license is five.
The request for the fraud charges to be dismissed against Sheriff Eric Watson was made last week.