Hamilton County commissioner: Extortion indictment ‘reeks of politics’

A Hamilton County commissioner running for re-election was indicted Tuesday on one count of extortion, but he says it’s a political attack with problematic timing.

Tim Boyd, 65, is expected to turn himself in to authorities today, the day after an indictment was filed in Hamilton County Criminal Court — and the same day early voting starts for the May 1 Republican primary.

Mayor Brent Lambert participates in the East Ridge…

“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 Tuesday. “It reeks of politics and is exactly the kind of government overreach that voters are sick and tired of. I welcome all the facts around Mr. [Brent] Lambert’s charges, and I will take my case for re-election to the voters in District 8.”

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A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office said Boyd’s indictment cannot be released until he’s been arrested, so it’s unclear what the exact evidence is against him. But Boyd said it is a setup by East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert, who’s trying to unseat him as District 8 commissioner.

The legal action, Boyd said in a statement, boils down to Lambert’s coziness with developers and associates of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau, which Boyd has criticized during meetings.

“The facts about Mr. Lambert’s taking money from the Exit 1 developers, putting it into his campaign account and then putting it in his pocket are well-known,” Boyd said in his statement. “They were public before I talked with Mr. Lambert and I used these facts in a mailer to voters this week. Is there any question about the motivations of those involved with this?”

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