Brown will continue to serve as constable while charges are pending

Published 4:33 pm Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Carter County constable arrested Tuesday by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will retain his elected position while criminal proceedings are pending according to election officials.
On Wednesday, agents with the TBI arrested Barney G. Brown, 74, of Stanley Hollow Road, Roan Mountain, on an indictment charging him with one count each of aggravated assault and official oppression. Brown serves as one of two elected constables representing the county’s 2nd District, which includes the Roan Mountain and Tiger Valley precincts.
If Barney is convicted of the charges against him, he would be disqualified from serving as a constable, said Carter County Administrator of Elections Tracy Harris.
“To even qualify as a constable you can’t have been convicted of a felony, so he would be disqualified that way,” Harris said.
Harris said she had never had to consider the procedures for what would happen if an elected official were to be convicted of a felony.
“We’ve never faced this before,” she said.
Because the matter was uncharted territory, Harris contacted the State Election Commission on Wednesday to find out what procedures, if any, she would need to follow in the event Brown is convicted of the charges against him.
While the charges against him are pending, Brown will remain in his elected post, Harris said.
“If he’s proven guilty his position is immediately terminated,” she said.
If it happens, Harris said the Carter County Commission would be tasked with appointing a replacement to serve the remainder of Brown’s term, which is set to expire on August 30, 2018.
The charges against Brown are the result of an investigation conducted by the TBI and the Carter County Sheriff’s Office at the request of District Attorney General Tony Clark, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the TBI.
According to the statement, the investigation centered around an incident on Dec. 2 when Brown allegedly performed a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling on Highway 19E in Hampton.
“During the traffic stop, Brown pulled a gun on the driver and unlawfully detained him,” the TBI statement said.
Following his arrest on Tuesday, Brown was booked into the Carter County Detention Center but was later released after posting a $25,000 bond.
Brown is scheduled to make his first appearance in Carter County Criminal Court on April 6 to be arraigned on the charges.

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