CLEVELAND DAILY BANNER | Brian Graves | January 12th, 2018
After more than two years of allegations, charges and investigations, the sheriff of Bradley County saw 12 felony counts of using and holding automobile titles which had been altered or forged dropped by the District Attorney General who had been assigned to oversee the case.
Fourth District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn, who was appointed District Attorney Pro Tem on July 1, 2016, announced his decision in a press release Thursday morning.
Dunn noted both the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the state’s Department of Revenue began their investigations into Watson’s actions at that time.
TBI’s search is thought to have involved, and it has never been denied, allegations brought against Watson to the state investigators by Bradley County Commissioner Dan Rawls. The Department of Revenue’s parameters were based on the reporting of a Chattanooga newspaper that made the allegations concerning Watson’s buying and selling, as an individual, of used cars.
The decision of the Bradley County grand jury in July to offer a presentment—charges made without the prompting of a prosecutor — on only the car title allegations suggested the allegations by Rawls had been dismissed.
There were never any charges filed against Watson alleging any wrongdoing in his official capacity as sheriff.
However, the case made on behalf of the Department of Revenue apparently gave grand jurors reason to believe there might be the potential of criminal activity. That would have caused them to decide to levy the charges against Watson…”