ARRESTED: Former state senator who pushed ban on same sex marriage

Former State Sen. Jeff Miller (R-Cleveland), the man who sponsored the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, has been arrested by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) for overbilling Bradley County as their delinquent tax attorney.

In 2005 the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment passed on third reading by a vote of 29-3 in the Senate. The amendment went to the voters in 2006 and passed. Miller was also the sponsor of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that codified the definition of marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman. Subsequently, marriage equality has been illegal since that law passed.

Miller’s advocacy for the sanctity of marriage rang hollow at a time when his wife of 15 years sued him for divorce, citing behavior that suggested Miller was guilty of extramarital philandering. Bridgett Suzanne Miller filed divorce papers in Bradley County Circuit Court on February 25, 2005 and accused her husband of “inappropriate marital conduct.”

Miller also has a gay brother - Gregg.

Miller did not seek re-election to the Senate in 2006. He was removed from office as the county delinquent tax attorney on Jan. 28 and ordered to turn over title search records. He was paid more than $70,000 a year as the Bradley County Tax Attorney according to local newspaper reports, which have suggested wrong doing on his part as tax attorney for the past three years.

A press release from the TBI says that Miller, 46, was indicted on one count of Official Misconduct, one count of Conspiracy to Commit Official Misconduct and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Perjury. April Miles, 28, was charged with one count of Aggravated Perjury, one count of Conspiracy to Commit Official Misconduct and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Perjury. Miles was Miller’s secretary.

The TBI opened the investigation at the request of the District Attorney General on January 25, 2009 after there were allegations that Miller was overbilling the county while he served in the appointed position of Delinquent Tax Attorney for Bradley County. When Miller was removed from office, he was ordered to turn over title search records. He did not have the records that showed he performed the required title searches even though he received payment for these searches. TBI executed a search warrant on Miller’s office on January 28, 2009 as part of the investigation.

Both Miller and Miles were booked into the Bradley County Jail this afternoon, each on a $10,000 bond.

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