This photo of LaFollette Mayor Mike Stanfield is from earlier this month.

LAFOLLETTE, TN. (WLAF)- As yet another court date looms in LaFollette Mayor Mike Stanfield’s criminal case, it appears a resolution could occur.

In Sept. 2020, Stanfield was indicted on seven counts of official misconduct, one count of retaliation for reporting to the comptroller and one count of misrepresenting information to a state auditor.

His alleged misdeeds date back to 2015, according to the indictment. Stanfield is accused of using his elected office for personal benefit, coercing city employees to lie, operating outside his authorized powers and retaliating against employees for reporting his crimes.

Stanfield is also accused of using city property for personal purposes and having a city employee perform work that benefitted Stanfield, the indictment said. Along with this, the mayor is further accused of directing a city employee to provide false statements to auditors.

Stanfield can avoid all criminal charges if he resigns from his mayoral position, he told WLAF last week.

“I hate to (resign),” he said. While not confirming if he would step down as mayor to avoid a criminal conviction, Stanfield said that four months ago, his retirement had been suspended. Recently, it was reinstated, he said. “That was my money that I paid,” he said. Stanfield again failed to confirm if the suspension and reinstatement were connected with his pending criminal case.

However, he continues to declare his innocence  insisting he has never done anything to harm the city.

“To be honest with you, I am not guilty,” Stanfield said. “I have used my personal stuff to help the taxpayers.” Listing a litany of deeds he had completed while acting under his role of mayor, Stanfield insisted his prosecution was politically motivated.

“If I have to, I will go on my way,” he said.

In the event, that Stanfield is convicted of a felony or steps down, the vice-mayor will become mayor until the next election. That means that Phillip Farmer, a newly elected city council member who is less than a year into his term, would become mayor until next fall. At that time, the mayor’s seat would be placed on the ballot, two years ahead of schedule. If Farmer becomes mayor, then his council seat would be open, allowing the city council to appoint someone to fill it until the next election, according to Reid Troutman, LaFollette city attorney. Once a new mayor is sworn in, Farmer would revert to his original position and term, Troutman said.

However, Farmer could also choose to run for mayor.

Stanfield has served as LaFollette Mayor since 2008. His next court date is Nov. 1.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 10/25/2021- 6AM)

One Reply to “Stanfield could resign to resolve criminal case”

  1. Mike Stanfield is a good man and mayor. The best one we’ve had in many years. He has gone above and beyond to help this community and those in need. Tried to get a homeless shelter, opened a warming center, I could go on and on. It’s a sad day for a lot of this community.

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