Charges against Loudon Co. chief deputy dropped

LOUDON, Tenn. (AP) - Charges against a Loudon County deputy that were dismissed twice have finally been dropped.

Tony Aikens -- who is also a Lenoir City councilman -- was indicted on charges of extortion in 2004 and 2005, but both times they were dismissed on technicalities.

The indictments stemmed from allegations that Aikens had extorted nearly 10-thousand dollars from a motorist during a traffic stop.

The money went to the county's drug fund, but later it was given back to the motorist after he filed a civil lawsuit.

The most recent charge was dismissed by special prosecutor Gus Radford who said he did not think he could win in court.

Aikens has accused former prosecutor Scott McCluen of pursuing the case in a political vendetta.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)