TBI investigating Sevier Co. officials use of county garage

TBI investigating Sevier Co. officials use of county garage

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By ERICA ESTEP
6 News Anchor/Reporter

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) -- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating allegations that the Sevier County mayor and solid waste director had work done on relatives' vehicles, as well as their own, at the county's solid waste garage.

The allegations against Mayor Larry Waters and his uncle, Jack Waters, the solid waste director, were brought by Kim Pierce, a Sevier County resident and small business owner.

She accuses Mayor Waters of having repairs and painting done on his sons' vehicles at the Sevier County Solid Waste Garage.

Pierce says Jack Waters' vehicle was also restored and repaired at the garage.

A grand jury on Tuesday asked Sevier County District Attorney General James Dunn to investigate the allegations, along with the TBI.

Dunn said the TBI began its investigation Wednesday.

"The county employees, while on the clock, painted the mayor's son and daughter's vehicle. We paid for the paint and also Jack Water's truck, who is the head of the solid waste department, his vehicle has been completely restored," Pierce told 6 News. 

Pierce says an eye witness told her all about it.

Jack Waters runs the solid waste department out of a garage next to the county fleet garage in Sevierville.

Pierce says she has receipts that will prove Jack Waters' pickup truck was re-built from the bottom up in the solid waste garage on the taxpayers' dime.

"I called the dealer who sold us the paint," Pierce explains. "They say that's a specific GM color and it's garnet red, which is the truck color in question, that belongs to Jack Waters."

Pierce says the evidence will prove the county employees were painting non-county vehicles.

6 News spoke by phone with Mayor Larry Waters on Thursday. He didn't want to go on camera, but says the allegations are false.

Mayor Waters also said the allegations have already been investigated by state auditors who found nothing wrong. He added that, "Kim Pierce makes a habit of harassing public officials."

Jack Waters didn't return calls from 6 News.

So far, no one has been charged with a crime. District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn said since the alleged vehicle work was done in 2005, the statute of limitations may already be up.

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