Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd to turn himself in on extortion charge

Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd

UPDATE: Boyd will turn himself in tomorrow morning, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

Spokesman Matt Lea said the HCSO's Fugitive Division found out about the grand jury indictment this morning and made arrangements through Boyd's attorney.

Boyd has a campaign event tonight at Wally's restaurant in East Ridge.


ORIGINAL STORY: A criminal extortion charge has been filed against Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd, court records show.

It's unclear why Boyd faces the charges because the indictment is not yet available, but the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation brought the case, sources said Tuesday afternoon.

An indictment is a court document that formally outlines charges against a person, and they aren't publicly available until a defendant is arrested.

The Times Free Press obtained a copy of what is called a rule docket that states Boyd was indicted today and that there's a warrant out for his arrest.

According to Tennessee law, extortion is when a person coerces somebody to obtain property or other services. It's a Class D felony that carries two to four years in prison.

Boyd, 65, is a Republican who is running for re-election in the District 8 county commission race. He faces challenger and current East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert, 41, in the May 1 primary.

"This action by the district attorney today is perhaps the most flagrantly political, despicable, desperate thing any of us has ever seen in Hamilton County," Boyd said in a statement. "It reeks of politics and is exactly the kind of government overreach that voters are sick and tired of."

Lambert had filed a complaint against Boyd in March, saying Boyd had threatened him over campaign contributions from three developers working projects related to Exit 1 in East Ridge.

Boyd has served two terms on the commission. He has gained attention in recent months for his relentless questioning of Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau spending.

This is a developing story. Read more online and in Wednesday's Times Free Press.