Bradley County Sheriff indicted on title fraud charges
CLEVELAND, Tennessee (WDEF) – The Sheriff of Bradley County has been indicted.
Eric Watson turned himself in this morning and posted a $30,000 bond.
He faces six charges of Alter/Falsify/Forge Title/ Plate Assignment.
After a year long investigation by the TBI, DA James Dunn from Sevier County presented evidence to a Bradley County Grand Jury on Wednesday.
The nature of the charges have been kept quiet, but there were accusations made about the Sheriff and his wife selling cars when he took office.
More than a year ago, Bradley County Commissioner Dan Rawls presented accusations against the Sheriff.
Local District Attorney General Steve Crump excused himself from the case, and the Sevier County D.A. was called in.
He presented the evidence this week to the Grand Jury, but has not released any information publicly yet.
Sheriff Watson has issued this statement on the indictment:
For more than a year, I have confronted numerous accusations from some who desire to have more control over county government and the operations of the Sheriff’s Office. I have cooperated with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations and responded to anyone who has requested information from me which related to the questions which have arisen.
To my knowledge, I have not been questioned about the accusations which are contained in an indictment which I have not seen.
There are two very important messages I want the employees of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office and the people of Bradley County to know.
1. The leadership team and every employee of the Sheriff’s Office will assist me as we continue to provide the best services possible to insure the safety and property of all citizens and visitors.
2. I will continue to cooperate with the proper authorities and respond appropriately to the allegations which have been made. I will waive arraignment, speedy trial and advise the court that I plea Not Guilty to the accusations.