Armstrong Says He Quietly 'Stepped Down'

Posted at 11:32 AM, Dec 24, 2015

State Representative Joe Armstrong said he quietly "stepped down" from his House Democratic Caucus leadership position after being indicted earlier this year on federal fraud and tax evasion charges.

The Knoxville Democrat told The Associated Press on Thursday that the main reason for stepping down as House minority leader pro tempore was so he can concentrate on his tax issue.

Armstrong's decision was first made public in a story published earlier this week by the Knoxville News Sentinel.

He said he sent an email to fellow Democrats in June, shortly after he was indicted, and in compliance with House Democratic Caucus rules calling for resignation from any leadership position upon indictment.

Armstrong has pleaded not guilty to the charges that accused him of devising a scheme beginning in 2006 to profit from the cigarette tax hike planned by then-Governor Phil Bredesen.