KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Former State Rep. Joe Armstrong will get to keep his pension, despite his felony conviction in a federal tax trial earlier this year.
Armstrong was found guilty of filing a fraudulent tax return. Tennessee has a law that keeps workers or leaders from receiving benefits if they commit a felony through their work for the state.
Previous story: Tennessee State Rep. Joe Armstrong found guilty of fraud
Tennessee’s retirement system decided the conviction did not meet those guidelines since it did not arise from his work as a member of the General Assembly.
The case stems from cigarette tax stamps purchased before a tax increase on which Armstrong voted. The stamps were then sold after the tax hike at a profit. The U.S. Attorney’s office says Armstrong didn’t pay taxes on those earnings. Sentencing is scheduled for November 30.