A two-time candidate for the Knox County property assessor’s position said the office is under federal investigation.
a taping of Sunday political talk show "Inside Tennessee," candidate
Andrew Graybeal told the panel that he’s met with current and former
employees who informed him that they’ve met with an agent from the
Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation division as recently
as “two weeks ago.”
The office determines the value of all local and commercial property in Knox County.
I am hearing from the employees is . . . assessments, issues and
campaign contributions will get you a lower assessment – that’s what has
been said to me by employees, former and current,” said Graybeal, who
also ran for the job in 2008.
Graybeal is one of three Republicans
seeking the position in the March 1 primary. The winner will take over
the office, since no Democrat qualified.
Phil Ballard, the current property assessor, is term-limited.
After the taping, WBIR 10News reached out to Ballard’s attorney, Don Bosch, regarding the accusations.
have been aware of the rumors and allegations for many years now and we
look forward to the day that these rumors and allegations end,” Bosch
Jim Weaver, the current chief deputy in the office, also is seeking the position.
He said “those are rumors we’ve heard for six years,” but he said he had never met with investigators.
have no knowledge of this,” he said. “These are pretty serious
accusations. I have not been talked to, I don’t know anyone who has been
John Whitehead, who served as property assessor from
2000-08 and also is seeking the job, said he has not talked to
investigators nor was he aware of a possible federal probe.
Property Assessor’s Office, which has 45 employees, is responsible for
appraising residential and commercial property in Knox County.
Tune in to WBIR 10News at 9:30 a.m. Sunday for more on the election.