|According to the press release below from District
Attorney, Russell Johnson, the findings of his investigation into the
"developer discounting" and other activities by Doyle Arp while he was
the property assessor, will be going to the Tennessee Bureau Of
Investigation for a full investigation. Apparently, Johnson has found
evidence of something and feels that a more through investigation that
he can provide is needed.
in July, it was discovered Arp had been "Doyleing" out, excuse the
pun, big property appraisal breaks for his close friend, developer Mike
Ross. Arp apparently gave Ross an 11.6 mil. break on his Rarity Bay
property. Nearly a month after the story first broke on vanshaver.com,
DA Johnson finally opened an investigation into the matter.
first report after a couple of weeks seemed to defend Arp's actions
but obviously Johnson has found evidence for a deeper investigation.
There is also the violation
39-16-403 - Official Oppression that occurred when
Arp attempted to
force other county officials to violate the law on his behalf.
Johnson has released no information on this matter.
RELEASE - October 9, 2008
Attorney General Predicates Full TBI Investigation into Rarity
For approximately two months
District Attorney General Russell Johnson has been conducting an
investigation with the assistance of TBI into various
allegations involving the Rarity Bay development on Tellico Lake
in Loudon County. A number of fact finding interviews have been
conducted by General Johnson and TBI agents as well as an
examination lasting several weeks of all of the deed transfers
from the original developer of Rarity Bay down to the current
property owners for every lot of the development that lies
within Loudon County.
Johnson stated that he has
now “completed a thorough review of the results of this records
examination, the information provided to me by the current
Property Assessor and information from other sources, as well as
the information gathered in the preliminary interviews. As a
result of this review I have predicated an investigation of all
of the issues surrounding these transactions, including the
allegations of ‘developer discounting’ to the Tennessee Bureau
Once the TBI investigation
is concluded and its results are available, Johnson stated that
he intends to review them with the Director of the Tennessee
District Attorney Generals Conference, the State Attorney
General and the Director of the Division of Property
Assessment. After meeting with the TBI District Supervisor
earlier today to ‘predicate the investigation’ Johnson further
advised that he was ‘cautioned’ by TBI that, even with much of
the preliminary work concluded, this investigation might still
take a considerable amount of time given the complexity of the
issues and the number of people to be interviewed or
Johnson indicated that no
action will be taken until the full TBI investigation is
|TBI to get results of probe
District attorney investigated claims against
Hugh G. Willett, knoxnews.com
Loudon County District Attorney General Russell
Johnson said Tuesday that he will turn over to the TBI results
of further investigation into various allegations involving
property assessments at the Rarity Bay development.
The allegations, which came to light in August, include charges
that current Loudon County Mayor Doyle Arp, while in the
position of property assessor in 2005, provided discounts on
property assessments of lots owned by Rarity Bay developer Mike
The allegations came this year when a property owner from
Florida questioned why his lot had been assessed at a value
almost twice that of comparable adjacent lots.
Current Property Assessor Chuck Jenkins said his investigation
into the property owner's allegations revealed that the
assessments on at least 178 lots owned by Ross and his
associates were reduced by as much as half.
The adjustments to the assessments were made by Arp several
weeks after the properties had been assessed and their values
entered into the state database. Arp contends all the
adjustments were justified and requested by property owners.
Ross denies he made such requests and said he has no idea why
the adjustments were made.
In a statement released Tuesday, Johnson said he has conducted a
number of fact-finding interviews as well as an examination
lasting several weeks of all the deed transfers from the
original developer of Rarity Bay down to the current property
Johnson said that after completing a thorough review of the
results of this records examination, "I have predicated an
investigation of all of the issues surrounding these
transactions, including the allegations of 'developer
discounting' to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation."
Once the TBI investigation is concluded and its results are
available, Johnson stated that he intends to review them with
the director of the Tennessee Attorney General's Conference, the
state Attorney General and the director of the Division of
After meeting with the TBI district supervisor Monday, Johnson
said that he was cautioned by TBI that, even with much of the
preliminary work concluded, this investigation might still take
a considerable amount of time given the complexity of the issues
and the number of people to be interviewed.
Johnson also recently confirmed that in addition to the
allegations that Ross and his associates received discounts from
the property assessor's office, there are other aspects to the
investigation that involve forgery of documents and possible
inflation of lot values at Rarity Bay by person or persons
Johnson also said he was extending his investigation to include
other properties owned by Ross, including Rarity Pointe.
Loudon County Commissioner Bob Franke said last week that he was
eager to learn the status of the investigation and that he had
contacted Johnson's office for an update.
Franke could not be reached for comment on the latest
Loudon County Mayor Doyle Arp did not respond to calls for