Burchett accused of nepotism in hiring of stepson

A complaint to the state comptroller and anonymous emails to county commissioners accuse Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett of violating nepotism laws in the hiring of his stepson, a county laborer with a history of legal troubles, reports the News Sentinel. Burchett is currently running for the Republican nomination to the 2nd Congressional District seat.

Tyler Steven McCree, the son of Burchett’s wife, was living in the mayor’s home and listed Burchett as his No. 1 reference when he applied for the job on March 21, 2015.

He was hired five months later, despite a county policy that prohibits an “elected or appointed official to advocate, supervise, manage or cause the employment” of a relative within county government.  Step-child is listed among the relations covered by the policy.

In an interview, Burchett said McCree got the job without his involvement. The comptroller’s complaint, obtained by the USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee from the complainant on condition the person not be identified, alleges: “No other candidate would have been considered for even a split second having the same record as McCree.”  Complaints to the comptroller are not public record.

The complaint and the emails include copies of the initial pages of incident reports from the Blount and Loudon county sheriff’s offices accusing McCree of rape, contributing to the delinquency of minors and possession of drug paraphernalia. The emails were sent last week to Knox and Blount county commissioners from knoxleaksvol3@gmail.com and knoxleaks18@yahoo.com.

… The issue also was raised by businessman Brad Mayes during a recent Republican gathering in Powell, during which Burchett, who is running for Congress, defended McCree, saying he had “turned his life around, and, in my book, a kid like that needs a medal on his chest.”

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