Updated at 4:49 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.
UPDATE: Brent Lambert has issued his first public statement since Commissioner Tim Boyd's extortion indictment.
His full statement reads:
My campaign to serve the great citizens of our community began because of my commitment to see East Ridge grow and prosper as a wonderful place to live and raise our families. My work as East Ridge Mayor has reflected that commitment with economic development and job growth. My commitment has been strengthened that District 8 deserves a voice committed to our community, not political grandstanding or theater. I am more committed than ever to the fact that good things can happen if we work together.
The events of recent days are only a snapshot of what has occurred over the last several weeks that have impacted the importance of this race and the very reason that I am a candidate.
I applaud the TBI for doing a thorough investigation into the threats that were made against me, my family, my professional career and political career. The TBI is receiving the full cooperation of me, my family and my campaign. Despite any claims to minimize this situation, the TBI has been thorough and respectful in its fact-finding and presentation of facts to the grand jury that has issued this indictment.
When I was threatened several weeks ago, I felt that I had no recourse but to alert the authorities. Citizens of District 8 are not represented by the backroom bullying that has been the standard approach by the current incumbent on any number of issues. Under the premise of "asking the hard questions," the incumbent has appeared to be an advocate for an accountable government. Ironically, his tactics and behavior demonstrate anything but an accountable government.
I look forward to the evidence that will soon be made available that captures the nature of the threats made against me and the false claims of any wrong-doing in my previous campaigns. I can say with all confidence that nothing that I have done in any campaign past or currently has been illegal.
While the events of the recent days have placed the campaign for County Commission District 8 in the news and the court of public opinion, the TBI investigation will be concluded in a court of law. My personal pledge to the citizens of District 8 is to be a public servant that represents the district and the issues best served by our community. You deserve better.
ORIGINAL STORY: The Hamilton County commissioner indicted for extortion turned himself in to authorities this morning, posted bond and was back in his regular seat at today's commission meeting.
Tim Boyd posted a $2,500 bond today for his one count of extortion, court records show.
According to his indictment, Boyd "unlawfully coerced" his political opponent, East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert, on or before Feb. 22, 2018, "with the intent to obtain property, services, any advantage or immunity; or restrict another's freedom of action."
The charge is a Class D felony that carries two to four years in prison.
Boyd, who is running for a third term as District 8 commissioner, says it is a political setup by Lambert, who filed a criminal complaint against him last month saying Boyd threatened him to drop out of the race.
Boyd told the Times Free Press this morning after the commission meeting that his legal team had been prepared for the charges and he will have more to say later.
"It's a shame, it's just a bunch of political power players who want another puppet on the commission."
Boyd has said the legal action boils down to Lambert's relationship with developers and associates of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau, which Boyd has criticized during meetings.
In a Facebook post earlier in the morning, Boyd said: "It's sad that Brent Lambert has so little integrity that he can be used by people like those at the [Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau] and those developing Exit 1."
Lambert has not responded to repeated requests for comment.
This is a developing story. Stay with the Times Free Press for more information.