A letter submitted in federal court this week shows that the Rev. Eugene Overstreet did not give $100,000 he promised to the Hamilton County Board of Education.
But Mr. Overstreet — the government’s cooperating witness in its case against former Hamilton County Sheriff Billy Long — said Wednesday he made the promise “in jest.”
The letter, written by D. Scott Bennett, the board of education’s counsel, states that Jerry Summers, Mr. Long’s attorney, asked the board for records showing whether Mr. Overstreet paid money he promised at a Chattanooga City Council meeting.
The board of education checked records since 2002 and could find no donation, according to the letter.
“We can find no evidence that Reverend Overstreet, or any individuals acting in his vein, have donated any sum of money to the Hamilton County school system,” the letter states.
According to minutes from the City Council, filed in court two weeks ago as part of Mr. Long’s case, Mr. Overstreet told the City Council he would give money to the board of education for “needy” children.
He said he would offer the first $100,000 if Councilman Leamon Pierce resigned.
Mr. Overstreet said the latter part of the promise also was a joke, and he called the submission another part of Mr. Summers’ efforts to tear him down.
“Mr. Summers is making a mockery of the legal system,” Mr. Overstreet said. “He’s playing the Barnum and Bailey circus act at Billy Long’s expense.”
Mr. Summers said Wednesday afternoon he had no comment.
The submitted letter was the fourth supplement in Mr. Long’s motion for psychological examination of Mr. Overstreet and for a subpoena of those records.
Mr. Overstreet helped the FBI in its investigation against Mr. Long that led to the former sheriff being charged with 27 federal counts including extortion, money laundering and possession with intent to sell cocaine.
His sentencing date is set for Oct. 27.