Former Decherd Mayor Robin Smith was arrested Wednesday afternoon on charges stemming from a probe by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in connection with a position he had held as a probation officer.
TBI special agents obtained indictments for Smith, who is a former misdemeanor probation officer, and he stands accused of mishandling funds in his control.
Smith has been charged with one count of official misconduct and one count of theft of property between $1,000 and $2,500, according to Franklin County Jail records.
Smith was booked into the Franklin County Jail and was released on $10,000 bond.
He is to appear in Franklin County Circuit Court at 9 a.m. on Sept. 13.
In November 2018, at the request of 12th District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor, TBI agents began investigating Smith, an employee of the Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency, according to a TBI press release.
During the course of the investigation, agents developed information that Smith, 59, allegedly took some of the payments paid by misdemeanor probationers for his own personal benefit. Smith resigned in July.
On Tuesday, the Franklin County grand jury returned indictments charging the former Decherd mayor.
Following the arrest, Decherd city officials responded with a statement to clarify that the action was not related to the city’s attempts to recover $26,000 from Smith for an alleged inappropriately obtained health insurance policy.
According to officials, Smith’s recent arrest and charges are not related to his role as mayor.
Decherd board members recently made allegations against Smith that he may have been inappropriately receiving a health insurance policy that was paid for with city funds totaling $26,000.
According to former Alderman Roy Partin, a concerned citizen had raised the question about Smith’s possible inappropriate health insurance policy, and Partin brought up the issue at a July Decherd Mayor and Board of Aldermen meeting.
According to Partin, the aldermen and mayor are not eligible to receive insurance benefits from the city.
Acting on behalf of a citizen’s tip, Partin said city officials found it appears Smith had been receiving insurance benefits since 2016.
Decherd Police Chief Ross Peterson confirmed Smith’s arrest and criminal charges did not involve the city of Decherd nor the $26,000 health insurance policy.
“The recent arrest of former city of Decherd Mayor Robin Smith stems from an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation,” Peterson said. "The charges against Smith pertaining to that investigation do not involve the city of Decherd or any civil litigation against Smith initiated by members of the Board of Aldermen.
“The city of Decherd is in the process of recovering money from Smith in regard to Smith’s personal health insurance policy he inappropriately received while he was acting as the mayor of the city of Decherd.
"It is important that Decherd residents understand that the TBI investigation, which resulted in Smith’s recent arrest and charges, is unrelated to the city of Decherd’s attempt to recover money pertaining to Smith’s inappropriate health insurance policy.”