Franklin County Commissioner John Anthony Page faces drug, sex charges

Franklin County Commissioner John Anthony Page faces drug, sex charges

October 27th, 2011 by Ben Benton in News

A Franklin County, Tenn., commissioner was arrested Tuesday after allegations that he offered a woman money and drugs in exchange for sex, authorities say.

Commissioner John Anthony Page, 55, of 2982 Old Tullahoma Road in Winchester, was charged about 11 a.m. CDT Tuesday with possession of schedule IV drugs and promoting prostitution, according to Franklin County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Chris Guess.

Investigators who heard allegations about a similar incident about a year ago began laying the groundwork for a sting-type operation Tuesday in Decherd, Tenn., Guess said.

That day Page went to a Franklin County woman's house where officers were concealed, he said. When the offer was made, Page was taken into custody without incident, according to Guess.

Page's phone number is unlisted, and he could not be reached for comment.

Guess said authorities can't confirm whether there were any other incidents involving Page and are unaware of any other women involved.

"This case is related to just one woman," he said.

The drug Page offered the woman was Xanax, he said.

This investigation, like most, was triggered by tips from the public, Guess said.

"Probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 percent of our crimes are solved by people telling us things," he said. "It doesn't matter who it is, if it's a public figure or Joe down the street, if you violate the law you have to pay the penalty."

Page's arrest is "disappointing" and "embarrassing" for the county, Franklin County Mayor Richard Stewart said Wednesday.

Under state law, Page, who served about a year on the commission and is a former school board member, can keep his commission seat until the criminal case against him is disposed of in court, Stewart said.

"It's entirely up to him whether he resigns now," the mayor said.

Commission leaders plan to talk to Page about his options soon, he said.

Stewart said that if Page is convicted and refuses to resign, ouster procedures could be pursued to remove him from office.

Meanwhile, Page remains free on $5,000 bond and faces a Nov. 21 General Sessions Court appearance on the charges, jail officials said.