State Rep. Paul Sherrell says a civil lawsuit filed against him in White County claiming he stole farm equipment is nothing more than hogwash.
“This is just trying to black my eye and make me look bad,” said Sherrell, who represents the 43rd District in the Tennessee House. The district includes about two-thirds of Warren County, along with all of White and Grundy counties. “If I did anything wrong, why aren’t there criminal charges against me? The White County sheriff and the DA’s office both looked into this and found I didn’t do anything wrong.”
The civil lawsuit was filed in White County Chancery Court by Charlie Allen and his wife, Dianne Allen. The Allens, from Bay County, Fla., contend Sherrell illegally removed $82,400 in equipment from their farm in White County.
Sherrell says he rightfully purchased the farm equipment from Wyatt Allen, brother of Charlie Allen. Sherrell says the farm equipment once belonged to the Allens’ father, now deceased.
Sherrell said he paid $20,000 for what amounts to dozens of pieces of equipment, including two tractors.
“I know this is politically motivated because I have the bill of sale and my name is on it and my brother’s name is on it,” said Sherrell, indicating he bought the equipment with his brother, John. “But in the lawsuit, I am the only one listed. Why list me and not my brother? Both our names are on the bill of sale. That tells me they are just trying to get me.”
Sherrell admits he got a favorable deal on the equipment, saying “I was trying to make a little money, the same as anyone would.” He says the timing of the lawsuit, filed July 16, or about two weeks before the Aug. 2 Republican Primary, was a blatant attempt to hurt his re-election campaign.
Even with word of the civil lawsuit hanging over his head, Sherrell easily won the Republican Primary with 64.5 percent of the vote, or 6,039 votes to 3,311.
The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 6, where Sherrell is trying for his second term in the Tennessee House.