The Tennessee Bureau of investigation has opened a probe into a mayor who doubles as fire chief in a Robertson County town.
When asked if could comment about what the TBI says are “misappropriated funds” at the Toys for Tots charity he runs, Greenbrier Mayor Billy Wilson told News 2 Wednesday, “I can't do that.”
Some city officials said Wilson plans to stay on the two jobs during the ongoing investigation.
The TBI opened the investigation last week concerning the mayor and the charity that Wilson has headed for more than a decade.
During several weekends before the holidays, Toys for Tots volunteers can be seen on Greenbrier's main streets collecting donations.
TBI spokesperson Kristin Helm told News 2 the investigation was requested by the area's district attorney.
News 2 has learned from sources close to the investigation that tens of thousand of dollars are involved, and the alleged misappropriation of funds at the Greenbrier Toys for Tots has been going on for years.
Several people in Greenbrier said Mayor Wilson is well-known as a foster parent to dozens of children over the years.
While Mayor Wilson has little to say about the investigation, he has hired a criminal defense attorney.
Jeff Walker said he will be representing the mayor and told News 2 he “encourages people to withhold judgment until this plays out.”
The comments came after a quickly called Greenbrier Board of Aldermen meeting Wednesday morning that was attended by both the mayor and his attorney.
Several of the alderman indicated Mayor Wilson planned to stay on the job as both mayor and fire chief during the investigation.
Many lauded Mayor Wilson for his service as both city leader and fire chief.
Alderman Larry Stroup told News 2 that Wilson during the meeting was “upbeat, positive and planned to carry on business.”
Others aldermen described the mayor as always “up front and truthful.”
Wilson has been mayor in Greenbrier since 2004.