Off the Wall News: Tennessee mayor remains popular despite Toys for Tots theft accusation

Associated Press • Nov 29, 2013 at 10:09 AM

GREENBRIER — A small-town mayor charged with stealing from the Toys for Tots charity he founded hasn't been drummed out of town, or even out of office.

Many people in Greenbrier say they can't believe that Mayor Billy Wilson would steal from charity. Many others say they are withholding judgment and waiting to see whether he is found guilty.

It's clear that Wilson has built up a lot of goodwill in the community of about 6,500 people where he has been mayor since 2004. Wilson also is chief of the Volunteer Fire Department and until earlier this month he ran a charity called GreenRidge Toys for Tots, which supporters say did much more than helping children at Christmas.

Melanie Edward said she has known Wilson for many years.

"I've never seen anyone more involved in their community," she said. "It's hard for me to believe he's done anything intentionally wrong."

Edward said Wilson would often give people money to help them pay their bills or for other needs.

Recommended for You

    Johnson City Press Videos