Witnesses Focus on Lambert in Sunshine Trial

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Knoxville (WVLT) - New information about alleged backroom deals with the county commission came out on the stand in the sunshine trial Tuesday.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford has been following the case all day.

Nine new witnesses testified before the jury Tuesday, the majority consisting of Knoxville News Sentinel employees.

County Commissioner Greg "Lumpy" Lambert was brought up by just about every witness on the stand. Several News Sentinel reporters recalled interviews they conducted before and after the January 31st commission meeting.

District 2 Seat B commission candidate Jonathan Wimmer told the jury that Commissioner Lambert pulled him aside during a recess on the 31st and asked if he would be willing to be sworn in in secret for the seat and vote for Lee Tramel in the 4th District in return. Wimmer says he quickly declined Lambert's offer.

"I wasn't going to start my career as a commissioner by voting a certain way in trade for a seat on commission. It's not why I was there," says Jonathon Wimmer, former candidate.

WImmer says he saw Lambert approach candidate Chuck Bolis during that same recess and Bolis ended up winning the seat. Several News Sentinel photographers then testified about various commissioners speaking in small groups during each recess.

We're expected to hear from more News Sentinel reporters Wednesday.

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