Richard Rogers, an Independent, describes himself as a spiritual man who cares deeply for his community.
LEBANON, Tenn. -
A Lebanon city alderman candidate says he is withdrawing from the race after a Nashville's News 2 Investigation revealed serious charges in his past.
Richard Rogers is still on the November 6 ballot for the Ward I race but says even if he wins, he will not accept the position.
"Due to some legal matters in Georgia, I am withdrawing from the election," the 42-year-old Independent candidate told Nashville's News 2 by phone Tuesday. "I feel I cannot represent the community in the right way because of my pending legal issues."
Nashville's News 2 Investigates has obtained court documents from the superior court of Cobb County.
According to the documents, in November of 2003, Rogers was charged with possession of the muscle relaxant Carisoprodol and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, both felonies.
Rogers was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of reckless driving and failure to stop at the scene of an accident.
According to Georgia court officers, Rogers never appeared in court on the charges and in October of 2004, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
As of Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the Cobb County District Attorney's Office said the four charges against Rogers are still active.
Rogers' background came to light last week after Lebanon police stopped to help him after his vehicle had run out of gas.
Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen explained, "Our dispatch center contacted Georgia. They said the warrants were active, but they would only extradite in the state of Georgia so at that point, Mr. Rogers was released."
In a phone interview Tuesday, Rogers said he is a different man now than he was then.
He said, "I didn't know that I had these charges in Georgia. In my heart, I love this community. If I win, I will not accept the position. I want to take care of this. If I knew this when I began, I would never have shed a bad light on the city or Wilson County or asked for support of citizens who have supported me in my run for city council."
In his defense, Rogers says he has done many good things for the community including work at the Lebanon Senior Center.
He says he has rededicated himself to Christianity and is now living for God.
The Wilson County elections director says that a candidate can run for office as long as he or she does not have a felony record.
Though Rogers is charged with two felonies in Georgia, he has never been tried or convicted.