Lambert Releases Audio Of Calls To Boyd That Led To Extortion Charge; Boyd Attorney Says Lambert "Should Be Held Accountable"

Monday, April 16, 2018
Brent Lambert at press conference
Brent Lambert at press conference

East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert on Monday played audio of three calls that led to an extortion charge against County Commissioner Tim Boyd.

The calls were played to reporters at a press conference at the East Ridge Community Center beside City Hall.

The attorney for Commissioner Boyd, Lee Davis, called it "curious business" that Mayor Lambert would hold the press conference and release the tapes.

Both Boyd and Lambert are vying for the District 8 County Commission seat. 

Mayor Lambert said he decided to record the calls "because I wanted a witness" to the exchange.  He said no one had instructed him to make the recordings. 

He said Tennessee "is a one-way consent state" on recordings.

The mayor said the commissioner is "scared, desperate, delusional and a bully." He said Commissioner Boyd "lies repeatedly."

Mayor Lambert said he made the first call on Feb. 16 after getting a call the night before from an attorney saying that Commissioner Boyd had called saying he had some damaging information against Mayor Lambert.  He said the call was from Allen McCallie, who is associated with a lawyer for the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, where Mayor Lambert is CEO and president.

He said the calls were made to Commissioner Boyd on his job at a manufacturing plant in Calhoun, Ga. In the first call, Commissioner Boyd said the information had been provided to him by his political team.  He said, "It looks very suspicious and certainly unethical.  It is all documented.  It's not going to look good for you, Brent."

He added, "My political team says this is really bad."  Commissioner Boyd said on the tape that his team was pushing to make the information public, but he said he did not want to hurt Mayor Lambert, his family or the Railroad Museum.

Mayor Lambert, at the press conference, said the information apparently referred to him accepting large campaign donations from the developers of the Bass Pro Shop property at Exit 1 and him afterward paying off an old campaign debt.  He said there was nothing illegal or unethical about taking the money and paying off the prior debt.

On the tape, Mayor Lambert asked Commissioner Boyd, "What do you want me to do?"

Commissioner Boyd said, "What I prefer you to do is just drop out of the race and everything goes away."  He also said, "If you stay in the race, it's not going to be pretty.  It will go to every media outlet there is and there will be robo calls.  It will be no holds barred."

In a call on Feb. 20, Commissioner Boyd said, "I don't want to hurt you, Brent."  He said the Railroad Museum is "an icon" and he also did not want to harm it.  But he said the information his team had found showed he had acted "blatantly unethically."  He said, "It's not conjecture, Brent.  They showed me the documents."  He said one of his team members said the information was, "As juicy as it gets.  He can't wait to turn it loose."

Commissioner Boyd said in the tape that he did not want others to know, but that this would be his last term before he retires.  He said, "This is just a little County Commission job.  You're doing great things in East Ridge, Brent."

Mayor Lambert asked if he withdrew could the information still come out.  Commissioner Boyd said former state Rep. Ken Meyer had offered to take all the documents and turn them over to Mayor Lambert after he withdrew.

In a final call, Mayor Lambert said he had decided he did nothing wrong and he was going to stay in the race.

Mayor Lambert said he hopes the issue about the alleged threats is over and the campaign can get back to "the issues."

Attorney Davis said, "Political candidate Brent Lambert issued a press release Friday threatening Tim Boyd that he will release a secretly recorded conversation today in order to gain political advantage in an election. Mr. Lambert is committing the same act today that he complained of last week.

“If Mr. Lambert really believes he is the victim of a crime, as he claims to be, it is curious business for him to hold a press conference today to release evidence, as he announced he intends to do. As a political candidate, Lambert is holding a press conference today, he says, to release a conversation that he secretly recorded of a political opponent. Puzzlingly, Mr. Lambert initiated the call to Commissioner Tim Boyd for the purpose of recording him. This act by Mr. Lambert, followed by an indictment, and now followed by his announcement that he will release evidence in a pending criminal case, is a mockery of our legal system. Mr. Lambert and those individuals who are helping him with his threats against Commissioner Tim Boyd should be held accountable for their actions. 

“My law office will be representing Commissioner Tim Boyd in a court of law on Friday, and we will ask the court to set this matter for trial at the earliest possible opportunity so that we may do our part to seek justice on behalf of Commissioner Tim Boyd and to hold political candidate Brent Lambert accountable for his actions in this matter."

 



Khyree Thompson Denied New Trial For 2015 Motel Murder

Khyree Thompson, 23, appeared in Judge Don Poole’s courtroom Monday with a motion for a new trial. Thompson was sentenced to life in prison for the February 2015 murder of Reginald Ballard during a motel robbery. Attorney Donna Miller referenced close-up photos of the victim’s wounds shown during trial, the introduction of “allegations of the defendant’s gang involvement,” and ... (click for more)

State Route 68 To Be Closed In Rhea County On Wednesday And Thursday For Stabilization Project

TDOT personnel and contract crews are nearing completion of a stabilization project on State Route 68 near log mile 5 in Rhea County.   To expedite completion of the project, it will be necessary to completely close the road for a two-day period beginning on  Wednesday, at 5 a.m . The closure was originally scheduled to begin on Monday, but has been postponed ... (click for more)

Here We Go Again With The Same Cummings Highway, 12th Street Flooding - And Response

Here we go again with the same pitiful news reports about the Cummings Highway Interstate interchange with I-24 - Flooding yet again after a heavy rain.  TDOT is derelict in not having repaired this years ago.  How hard is it to get some excavators out there to dig up the collapsed drainage pipes which TDOT says are the cause of the flooding and replace them with ... (click for more)

Deal With The Graffiti Vandals

I travel to other neat old cities and don't see nearly the graffiti vandalism as in Chattanooga. Why do we allow one or two or three repeat vandals to mar our venerable Walnut Street Bridge, the pillars to the Holmberg Bridge, the remodeled Chief John Ross Market Street Bridge, the walls along our multi-million-dollar Riverwalk, our sidewalks, street signs and our old limestone ... (click for more)

Lee Set To Begin Construction on New Baseball Stadium

A new era will begin for the storied Lee University baseball program as construction began this month on a brand-new stadium for the Flames to call home with completion set for the upcoming spring 2019 season. The new venue, which will sit in the same location as Old Olympic Field, will be two levels and approximately 9,400 square feet. The stadium will feature chair back seating ... (click for more)

Local Tennis: The City Championships are July 19-22

The annual City Tennis Championships will be held July 19-22 at Manker Patten Tennis Club   Open Division:  The event will include the open division in men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed with prize money at $1000 for men’s and women’s singles winners and $500 for the runners-up and $250 for the semifinalists. NTRP Doubles Pla y: Doubles play ... (click for more)