Mayor of Oakland, TN asked to leave office

By Lori Brown - bio | email

OAKLAND, TN (WMC-TV) - The mayor of a West Tennessee city has been asked to leave office after allegations of illegal voting.

There is some debate about whether Mayor Bill Mullins of Oakland, Tennessee is still the mayor after a judge issued a ruling declaring that the mayoral election is now void.

Vice Mayor John Evans received a phone call early Tuesday from the Fayette County Administrator of Elections.

"It was her understanding at that time that the vice mayor was pretty much in charge of the town," Evans said.  "We kind of got in action."

As of Tuesday night, Mullins had yet to leave the mayor's office.

Mullins still believes he is in charge of the town.

"Who's in charge of the city right now?  Me," Mullins said.

Alderman Chuck Wombough said that Mullins is no longer mayor.

"According to the election commission he is no longer the mayor," Wombough said.  "The election is overturned."

A judge found that 23 people who lived outside of Oakland voted in the election.  Mullins won that election by only 15 votes.

Oakland's city attorney said that a legal rule not in writing requires a 30 day stay before a judgment is implemented to allow parties to appeal the decision.

Mullins said he will follow that rule.

"When the 30 days are over I will pack my junk and go home," Mullins said.

Mullins said he plans to run again in the March special election.

Mullins is due in court next month to answer to criminal charges that he used his public office for private financial gain, which he denies.

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