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By DAMON LAWRENCE
District Attorney General Russell Johnson plans to take the results of several investigations regarding Roane County Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham and Steven Robinette before the grand jury on Tuesday.
Johnson has extended an invitation for Kirkham, Robinette and their attorneys to attend the grand jury meeting.
“I intend to call at least a couple of witnesses to elaborate on the information contained in those investigations,” Johnson said in a letter to Kirkham and Robinette. “I will be making recommendations and will advise the grand jury as to whether I feel new bill indictments and criminal prosecution are appropriate.”
Robinette ran unsuccessfully this year against Kirkham for the property assessor position.
Kirkham won easily, but the campaign was filled bitterness and scurrilous attacks.
The feud didn't end after the election.
Just this week, the Roane County Ethics Committee voted to ask Johnson to look into some ethics complaints that Robinette filed against Kirkham.
In the letter to Kirkham and Robinette, Johnson discussed the feud.
“It has been a public embarrassment to me, and I think that's what Mr. Robinette has tried to do,” Kirkham said.
Kirkham has denied wrongdoing, but said she is bothered by the grand jury situation.
“I am not taking it lightly,” Kirkham said. “I am concerned, but I've told the truth. I have done nothing wrong.”
Robinette said he doesn't believe he can get a fair result from the grand jury.
“Well I'm sure they'll probably pass an indictment down on me because Ms. Kirkham's family is on the grand jury,” he said.
Robinette claims grand jury foreman is a relative of Kirkham. Kirkham said he is not.
Robinette has also claimed Johnson has a conflict of interest. Robinette said he dropped off a letter at Johnson's office on Friday, which asked Johnson to recuse himself from investigating the ethics complain