Lynch indicted for sales tax fraud, resigns as Anderson mayor

Lynch indicted for sales tax fraud, resigns as Anderson County mayor

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Mayor Rex Lynch (source: Anderson County Sheriff's Office) Mayor Rex Lynch (source: Anderson County Sheriff's Office)

CLINTON (WATE) - Former Anderson County Mayor Rex Lynch was indicted in connection to investigations about the improper sale of his pickup truck to county government and six other vehicle sales.

Lynch, 46, resigned from office on Wednesday and apologized to the people of Anderson County as he left the jail. He turned himself in and was booked on a $25,000 bond.

He was indicted on nine felony counts Tuesday by an Anderson County grand jury.

The charges include one count of official misconduct, one count of conflict of interest and seven counts of sales tax fraud.

Former Sevier County District Attorney General Al Schmutzer was appointed by the state Attorneys General Conference in August 2010 to investigate the sale of Lynch's 2002 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had opened the investigation one month earlier.

The indictment says Lynch sold the Chevrolet Sliverado to David A. Worthington, of Worthington Motors Company Inc. in May 2009.

Lynch also arranged for Worthington to sell the truck to Anderson County for use by the engineering and public works department, in violation of Tennessee code, according to the indictment.

The truck reportedly was purchased by the county for thousands more than Lynch originally paid for it.

Lynch is also accused of reporting a false amount to the state for the purchase of the truck in March 2007.

The indictment also accuses Lynch of reporting a false amount for the purchases of:

  • A 2004 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck in March 2010
  • A 2004 Volkswagen Passat in January 2009
  • A 1998 Jeep Wrangler in July 2009
  • A 2001 Jeep Wrangler in November 2009
  • A 1995 Honda CBR motorcycle in July 2009
  • A 2001 Suzuki GSX motorcycle in May 2009

Each of those purchases resulted in a charge of sales tax fraud.

Lynch's chief of staff, Dede Elkins, called a special meeting of department heads Wednesday afternoon to inform them about the indictment.

Last summer, voters re-elected Lynch to a fourth term as mayor. He served a total of 12 years.

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