Oakland Mayor speaks about cloud of controversy surrounding town

By Justin Hanson - bio | email

OAKLAND, TN (WMC-TV) - The town of Oakland in Fayette County is a little over a month away from a special election for mayor.  Now, Oakland's current mayor is speaking out about the cloud of contention surrounding the town.

Mayor Bill Mullins is under indictment for allegedly profiting off the town from a side business.

"It's ok...the problem seems to be I didn't talk enough about it," Mullins said in an interview Tuesday.

Oakland's cloud of controversy continued after allegations that Oakland police officer Joshua Smith lied about a shooting he claimed happened on Christmas Eve.

"I can't say anything about that," Mullins said. "That's in the hands of the D.A."

Despite the town's troubles, Mullins is confident he will win the upcoming special election for mayor.

"I've done a good job," he said. "I think that's obvious, and why they need a change...someone needs to tell me."

Mullins has been mayor of the town for 18 years, but last December, his opponent, Scott Ferguson, had the November 2008 election overturned.  Ferguson challenged the results of the election, and a judge ruled 23 people cast illegal ballots.

That's the reason for the special mayoral election next month.

"The tragedy in Oakland is lack of leadership, and the consensus of the town is that we need to move toward a brighter and more positive leadership," Ferguson said.

Mullins' trial is scheduled for March 25 and 26th - just days before the special election.

"I'm man enough that if things don't look good for me, I would do nothing to embarrass this town," he said. "Should I be convicted, I'll resign."

No matter what, Mullins said, he's putting his faith in the hands of the people.

Early voting in the Oakland mayoral race takes place from March 10 through March 25th.  Election Day is March 30th.

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