TBI May Investigate Alleged Vote-Buying Scheme in Union County

Knoxville, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation may conduct a criminal probe into allegations of vote buying by two people in Union County.

Eighth Judicial District Attorney General William Paul Phillips said he has asked the TBI to look into the election activities of Union County Commissioner Charlie Cox and another person he wouldn't identify.

He said the initial information his office received had nothing to do with the contested 8th Judicial District post, which represents five counties north of Knoxville.

Leif Jeffers, who lost a bid for that seat in the August 3rd primary to Martha Yoakum by 12 votes, filed a lawsuit to have 15 votes tossed out because of alleged vote buying.

Jeffers argued that Cox took voters to the polls, passed out money and exhorted people to vote for Yoakum, according to the lawsuit.

Yoakum has said she wasn't involved in any vote-buying scheme and was shocked by the allegations. Cox denies buying votes for Yoakum or anyone else.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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