TULLAHOMA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Embattled Tullahoma Alderman Jenna Amacher has responded to the accusation that she is illegally holding her seat, calling the action against her retaliation and claiming abuses of power from both the city mayor and district attorney.
The alderman was confronted by Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott at the Monday, Oct. 10 meeting of the Tullahoma Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Northcott said he received a petition signed by some 270 residents of Tullahoma accusing the alderman of falsifying her residency and illegally representing the community.
Northcott then asked Amacher to “do the right thing and step down” or he would file paperwork to have her removed from office via court order.
Amacher said at the meeting that she would not step down, as she was a legal resident of Tullahoma and not in violation of any city or state statute.
She also issued a public statement on the matter on social media averring she was a resident and would not step down.
Amacher also provided News 2 with a statement Thursday night. In her statement, Amacher claims the action was “not about the question at hand.”
“This is an attempt to retaliate,” she said in her statement.
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Amacher said previous comments Northcott has made make him incapable of acting neutrally in the matter.
“Even I am a little shocked at his arrogant display of self-righteous grandeur- calling me a ‘fool’ and quoting proverbs. Not to mention, literally zero factual evidence given that I’m not a resident. He alluded to ‘witness statements’ but gave zero specifics and all other facts were blatant lies.”
She further claimed Northcott has been “on this for months and even appointed a special prosecutor to investigate me for ‘vote fraud.’”
“But yet, still no facts?” she questioned the DA. “I’m now not only worried about the weaponization of the justice system but also the integrity of the investigations. The sheer number of ethical violations has become one for the record books.”
Amacher also addressed those who signed the petition calling for her ouster, claiming many of them “did not even know what they were signing” and that others “signed out of peer pressure.”
“I venture to say 90 percent or more didn’t vote for me,” she said.
She further claimed a majority of those who signed only did so because she is vocally opposed to the proposed Think Tullahoma 2040 Comprehensive Development Plan.
“I stand in the way of the 2040 plan being passed as written,” she said. “That was reason enough for many to sign.”
Finally, Amacher accused Tullahoma Mayor Ray Knowis of abusing his power in letting Northcott speak at the meeting at all, saying the public comment portion of the city meetings is for citizens only, and Northcott prefaced his comments by announcing he was there in his capacity as district attorney, not a citizen.
“The comments section is limited to citizens’ comments,” she said. “The DA was not on the agenda, and nor did he present us with anything relevant to any action on the agenda or otherwise that the board may take collectively. When you ruled against my point of order, you did so only because he was the DA. That is abuse of power.”
The alderman further accused the mayor of only allowing those with whom he agrees to speak, calling it “unacceptable and a violation of the first amendments requirement of content neutrality.”
“Instead, you allowed this person with a badge to lie, embarrass and defame a sitting board member,” she said.
News 2 has reached out to both Northcott and Knowis for comment.