Katrina Robinson joins list of Tennessee lawmakers who have faced charges


When State Senator Katrina Robinson was indicted this week for alleged theft, embezzlement and wire fraud, she joined a long list of Tennessee lawmakers to face state or federal charges.

Robinson, D-Memphis, who was arrested Thursday and released on her own recognizance, did not deny the charges against her but asked her constituents for their continued support.

The following is a round-up of state lawmakers who have been indicted for a variety of reasons.

Senator Katrina Robinson – Democrat – 2020

The Memphis-based freshman lawmaker has been charged with 48 counts, including 24 counts of theft and embezzlement of government programs and 24 counts of wire fraud. Robinson allegedly used federal grant money from his for-profit nursing college to buy a vehicle for his daughter, expenses related to her marriage and honeymoon, and legal fees for her divorce. She was also accused of using the grant money to pay off credit cards and student loan payments, purchase cosmetics and fund a campaign event.

If found guilty, she faces up to 20 years in federal prison, three years on probation and a fine of $ 250,000.

Rep. Joe Haynes – Democrat – 2017

The former state senator was indicted on one count of sexual violence, after being accused of touching a woman without her consent. Haynes has pleaded not guilty to the charges and was due to stand trial in 2018. The 81-year-old Nashville Democrat is dead before the start of the trial.

Rep. Bruce Hurley – Republican – 2017

Hurley, who was a lawmaker in the 1970s and 1980s, was indicted and pleaded guilty to three petty shoplifting offenses, including the theft of a pecan log, worth 3.19 $, by hiding it in his pants. He was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days of probation and 120 days of house arrest.

Rep. Joe Armstrong – Democrat – 2016

Armstrong was convicted of federal tax evasion charges and sentenced in 2017 to six months of house arrest, 300 hours of community service and three years of probation. He refused to resign his seat until a jury found him guilty.

Representative Larry Bates – Democrat – 2015

Bates, who served in the legislature in the 1970s, and his sons have been accused by federal prosecutors of defrauding hundreds of people over a million dollars through their Memphis radio network. Bates and his sons have denied the charges. In 2017, he was sentenced to 21 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $ 21 million in restitution.

Bill Beck – Democrat – 2015

Beck has been charged with impaired driving. the the case has been closed by a judge on the grounds that the police officer did not have reasonable suspicions to arrest Beck.

Senator Jim Summerville – Republican – 2014

Summerville was indicted by Dickson County Circuit Court on charges of criminal harassment, public intoxication and permission to run free with dogs. The resolution of the case is unclear.

Representative Jim Cobb – Republican – 2012

Cobb was charged but found not guilty of assaulting a campaign worker for his political opponent.

Rep. David Hawk – Republican – 2012

Hawk was convicted of the tort of reckless endangerment by a state court related to a domestic incident with his ex-wife. He was sentenced to probation and community service.

Rep. Curry Todd – Republican – 2011, 2016

Todd pleaded guilty to drunk driving and a weapons charge in 2011 in Nashville. He was sentenced to 48 hours in prison and one year of probation.

In 2016, he was arrested for allegedly stealing the signs from his main opponent, Mark Lovell. Lovell freed Todd from jail before defeating him in the election. Lovell later resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct in Nashville.

Representative Rob Briley – Democrat – 2007

Briley was arrested and charged with impaired driving, escaping arrest and vandalism after colliding with a car in Middle Tennessee that resulted in a high-speed police chase. He received a pre-trial diversion on the charges of escape and vandalism. Briley pleaded guilty to DUI and spent two full days in jail and another eight half days in jail.

Senator Jerry Cooper – Democrat – 2006

Cooper was charged but found not guilty of bank fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and mail fraud after allegedly attempting to defraud BankTennessee.

Operation Tennessee Waltz – 2005

Senator Ward Crutchfield (Democrat), Senator John Ford (Democrat), Senator Kathryn I. Bowers (Democrat), former Senator Roscoe Dixon (Democrat) and Representative Chris Newton (Republican) were among those who were indicted by the federal authorities for their participation in a system of corruption. Crutchfield was sentenced to six months house arrest, two years probation and paid a fine of $ 3,000. Ford spent four years in federal prison. Bowers pleaded guilty to one count of corruption and was sentenced to 16 months in prison. Dixon was sentenced to five years and three months after being convicted of bribery and extortion. Newton served about nine months in prison.

Representative Keith Westmoreland – Republican – 2002

Westmoreland has been charged in Florida with seven counts of exposing himself in a hotel. Westmoreland, who also faced similar charges for an incident in Nashville, committed suicide days after being charged.

Rep. Ronnie Davis – Republican – 2002

Federal authorities have charged Davis with 15 counts of felony, alleging that he and a woman from Murfreesboro attempted to sell fake diplomatic passports to two Texas men and attempted to defraud the First Tennessee Bank. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

Senator Carl Koella – Republican – 1996

Koella faced charges from the Tennessee Highway Patrol after leaving the scene of a fatal crash involving a motorcyclist. He pleaded guilty to the charges in 1997 and was sentenced to 30 days of community service, 11 months and 29 days of unsupervised probation and a fine of $ 2,500.

Senator Bill Owen – Democrat – 1993

Owen, who served in the legislature from 1974 to 1990, was arrested in 1991 for impaired driving. The arresting officer said he found Owen sitting in his car with his genitals exposed with a female passenger. In 1993, a Knox County jury failed to deliver a verdict on the case, in part because of a faulty breathalyzer. A second trial ended with the same result.

Rep. John Ford – Democrat – 1991

Ford has been charged with aggravated assault and a weapons charge after allegedly shooting a pistol through the sunroof of his Mercedes Benz at a Texas trucker on Interstate 40 in western Tennessee. A jury then acquitted him.

In one large-scale investigation with federal and state authorities, current and former lawmakers were among more than 70 people indicted for their role in a massive illegal gambling operation. While the bulk of the investigation focused on gambling, the investigation uncovered other areas of corruption.

Former State Representative Jack Burnett has been charged with conspiracy, illegal gambling and tax evasion. He was found guilty of conspiracy and tax evasion, but acquitted of two other charges. He was sentenced to six months in prison.

Representative Tommy Burnett, a Democrat who was then the House Majority Leader, has been charged with conspiracy, gambling, mail fraud and perjury. He was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $ 48,000 in restitution.

A day before he was charged with allegedly attempting to extort $ 75,000 from a Knoxville lawyer in order to stop a bill in the Legislature, Rep. Ted Ray Miller, a Democrat, spoke out. suicide.

Representative Zane Whitson – Republican – 1987

Whitson was charged but found not guilty of conspiracy, forgery of bank documents, tax evasion and forgery in federal court.

Representative Tommy Burnett – Democrat – 1983

Burnett was convicted of failing to file income tax returns. He served 10 months in prison, where he was re-elected to the House of Representatives.

Senator Edgar Gillock – Democrat – 1982

Gillock has been convicted of 11 counts of conspiracy, fraud, extortion and tax evasion after using his office as a lawmaker to secure millions of dollars in computer contracts with the government. The indictment was the third in three years Gillock has faced, with the first two trials ending with suspended juries. Gillock was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Rep Emmitt Ford – Democrat – 1980

Ford and his wife were convicted of 20 federal mail fraud and conspiracy charges. Ford resigned his seat and served a federal prison sentence.

Rep. Robert Fisher – Republican – 1979

Fisher was convicted in a state criminal court of corruption charges after seeking compensation from the Carter County Sheriff. Fisher, who was fined $ 500 and given a 30-day suspended sentence, was later expelled by the legislature.

Rep. Ira H. Murphy – Democrat – 1973

Murphy was charged with failing to file 1969 and 1970 income tax returns. He was sentenced to one year of probation.

Rep. Bryan Elder, Rep. Hugh Dixon – Democrats – 1970

Dixon and Elder were both charged with breaking state conflict of interest law, allegedly having contracts with the state while serving in the legislature. A criminal court judge dismissed the charges, saying the state’s conflict of interest law does not apply to lawmakers. An appeals court upheld the dismissal, with the state Supreme Court declining to hear the case. As a result, the charges against Elder and Dixon were quashed, according to Tennessean records.

Rep. EB Woodard – Democrat – 1966

The Carthage-based lawmaker, who served in the legislature from 1957 to 1964, has been charged with nine counts of postal fraud. The resolution of the case is unclear.

Corinne Kennedy contributed to this report.

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Contact Joel Ebert at [email protected] or 615-772-1681 and on Twitter @ joelebert29.

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