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Assistant DA charged in prostitute sting, fired from job

Becky Campbell • Updated May 29, 2020 at 7:56 AM

Assistant District Attorney General Bill McManus was arrested and fired from his job Thursday after a federal sting caught him in a bribery situation with a prostitute, according to a news release.

McManus had worked at the DA’s office about a year.

“(He) has been charged with bribery,” District Attorney General Ken Baldwin said in the release. “The arrest comes following an investigation conducted by criminal investigators of the District Attorney's Office and federal agents.”

Baldwin said his office received information a few weeks ago that McManus was involved in illegal activity concerning a prostitute. The sting operation was conducted Thursday in Johnson City.

“Based on this information, I immediately contacted my investigators and initiated an investigation, which resulted in the arrest today of Mr. McManus and the termination of his employment at the time of his arrest,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin said he contacted the appropriate parties concerning the assignment of a pro-tem prosecutor for this case, which will be determined by the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference.

“This is to make sure that no favoritism is shown in the prosecution of this matter. The appointment of another district is crucial in this situation. It is not appropriate to be the prosecutor in this case, based on the fact, that I initiated the investigation and the defendant was a prosecutor at the time of the arrest.” Baldwin said.

“By removing the District Attorney's Office from this matter, it avoids any ethical issues that may arise, as well as, the elimination of what someone may perceive as favoritism."

The investigation was ongoing.

It was unclear whether McManus had been incarcerated following his arrest.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that McManus apparently had been charged in federal court. His charges are from the State of Tennessee.