Councilman Admits To Prostitution Citation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - During a Metro Council meeting, council member Robert Swope admitted to a decades-old incident that resulted in a citation in Hamilton County.

Swope addressed his colleagues at the end of the meeting, saying back in 1998 he was given a citation for solicitation.

"So that you don't hear this from anyone other than me first, please know this -- in 1998, 20 years ago, as a young, single man traveling on the road through Hamilton County, Chattanooga, I was given a citation for solicitation," Councilman Swope admitted.

NewsChannel 5 has learned that Swope was among more than a dozen men cited for solicitation on a Friday in September 1998 as part of an undercover prostitution sting near downtown Chattanooga.

It’s unclear if the matter was ever settled in court. 

Swope said he was not arrested or booked, but a series of "court misunderstandings" means a warrant may still be outstanding.

"In the decades since this long-forgotten episode, I've grown... met an incredible woman, gotten married, and tried to serve my community and my country as honorably and as well as I could," Swope said as he started to become noticeably choked up.  "This alone doesn't absolve me from my past transgressions, but my youthful indiscretions were just that -- youthful indiscretions." Other council members gathered around Swope to offer support as he spoke.

The councilman, who is running for the GOP Executive Committee, says an opponent dug up the citation. Swope says he wanted to let his constituents hear it from him. 

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