District Attorney: Vote Buying Investigation in FBI Hands
Tenth Judicial District Attorney General Steve Crump believes the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s interest in the alleged vote buying in last year’s election is a good thing.
“One, it removes me from any conflict in the process,” he said on Monday, referring to ballots that also contained his name and other local and district elected officials with whom he is acquainted or has known over the years.
“And two, with the FBI in the case, any trial would be in federal court and out of the county,” he said, “and we would have no conflict occurring within the local jury pools and its members.” Crump cautioned, however, that should the FBI back out of the case, it would mean returning it to his jurisdiction and he would have to handle it.
The investigation got underway after the August 2014 general election, after Crump began getting complaints about vote buying affecting several outcomes of the election. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation started looking into the complaints and by October rumors came and went that continued as hearsay and gossip through December.
In January, Crump told the BUZZ that the TBI had not completed its examination of vote buying in the county. He said he had no idea whether agents had uncovered any evidence pointing to illegal purchase of votes.
“I plan to take the case – everything – and give the entire investigation to the grand jury,” he said, during the grand opening of the district attorney general’s field office in Madisonville. “Remember, we have a contested election scheduled for Monroe County in 2016 and I want this present matter to be cleared up before then and hopefully we won’t have to go through it again.”