Allegations fly in Bradley County sheriff race - WSMV Channel 4

Allegations fly in Bradley County sheriff race

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Bradley County elections are months away, but the race for the sheriff's post is already heating up.

Incumbent Jim Ruth sent a complaint letter to the state's Bureau of Ethics & Campaign Finance Thursday, alleged unethical and possible illegal activities of his political opponent for sheriff, State Representative Eric Watson, a former captain on the force.

"We've had trouble ever since he was elected to State Representative and keeping up with his time correctly," says Ruth of Watson's departure from the sheriff's office in October of 2011.

"This mudslinging type of campaigning doesn't surprise me," said Watson, at his campaign headquarters in Cleveland.

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.

Ruth also claims Watson is being less than forthcoming of his exit from the Bradley County Sheriff's Office. Ruth says he allowed Watson to resign in lieu of termination, for alleged time card fraud. Watson says Ruth was the supervisor who approved his timecard for nearly 11 years.

Both candidates say they've raised approximately 20 thousand dollars each for their respective political campaigns.

There is no word from the Bureau of Ethics & Campaign Finance as to whether they plan to investigate Sheriff Ruth's allegations.


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