FAIRVIEW, Tenn., (WKRN) — The mayor of Fairview is in hot water facing shoplifting charges.
The Fairview Mayor and President of the First Bank of Fairview, John Blade, turned himself in to the Maury County jail on Thursday.
Blade is accused of shoplifting hundreds of dollars worth of items from a Spring Hill Target store.
The 53-year-old was released on his own recognizance.
According to a Spring Hill Police report, the incident happened September 19, 2020. Target Loss Prevention reps said Blade spent about an hour in the store. Then he uses his personal Target Credit Card to self check out.
According to Spring Hill Police, Blade scanned some items, but he didn’t scan other items putting them in his cart. Police said he left the store with the unpaid items.
The story doesn’t end there. About an hour later Blade enters the store a second time. According to investigators, the mayor once again self scanned some items but not others.
The report indicates that at least 44 items described as household goods were taken. Some of the items listed in the police report are 3 tweezers and skin care items. In all, Target claims that the Fairview Mayor stole $281 dollars worth of household items.
Fairview City Manager Scott Collins said, “I learned of the information, officially, yesterday. (Thursday) Obviously it is out of character for what we know of John.”
Collins said the mayor’s position is part time, and it will not affect the day to day operation of the city. “The day to day operations of the city will remain unchanged. We work to insulate the city from those things.”
Collins said Blade and all elected officials in Fairview have limited powers.
“As far as day to day operations, the mayor’s position is no different than any other elected official in that they have no role within the operations of the city.”
Blade is also the president of First Bank of Fairview just down the driveway from City Hall.
Bank employees told News 2 Friday Blade was not at work.
News 2 also visited Blade’s home, and nobody answered the door.
At this time, Blade is charged with a misdemeanor.
He was elected mayor in 2018 and has 2 years left on his term.
We asked Scott Collins how this shoplifting allegation might affect the rest of the mayor’s term.
Collins said, “It’s unchanged as far as the city is concerned. There are election commission questions that may come up. I’m no expert on that, but I know as far as his position in the city and office of mayor that is still fulfilled and held by him.”
We asked the city manager if he had any concern about the mayor’s shoplifting allegations extending into city hall.
Collins said, “No. No. Our system is completely separate from that. Everything goes through the city manager. All elected officials are insulated. Their roles are administrative through resolutions and ordinances and not operational.”
John Blade is due back in court on November 9th.
Fairview’s city charter includes a provision allowing for removing elected officials charged with a crime.
Across the street at the local donut shop, News 2 caught up with 18-year-old Alex Hollars who said he knows John Blade and conducts financial transactions at his bank.
Hollars said, “I don’t think he should be in office, if he is going to be committing crimes. You need to practice what you preach, you know. You can’t go around and be doing stuff you are not supposed to be doing and lead us you know.”
Tom Lawson lives in nearby Kingston Springs and travels frequently to Fairview.
“He shouldn’t be leading anything at all, that is unacceptable behavior. He got elected as a mayor of a city. Public trust. He runs a bank. Public trust. He does this. The Public shouldn’t trust him. It’s as simple as that.”
Hollars added, “The size of what you steal doesn’t matter. Once you steal something you are a thief.”
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.