Former South Pittsburg Mayor Mike Killian Charged By Federal Authorities For Illegal Gambling; Is Brother Of U.S. Attorney Bill Killian; He Agrees To Plead Guilty

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Mayor Mike Killian
Mayor Mike Killian

Former South Pittsburg Mayor Mike Killian has been charged by federal authorities for illegal gambling. He has agreed to plead guilty to the charge.

He is the brother of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee Bill Killian. The indictments and complaints are usually signed by Bill Killian, but this one was signed by Jack Smith, chief of the Public Integrity Department of the U.S. Department of Justice. Trial attorneys are listed as Mark Angehr and Barak Cohen, who are not associated with the Bill Killian office.

Mike Killian faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 or twice the amount of the pecuniary gain.

The complaint says from 2004 to January 2013, Mike Killian managed an illegal gambling operation with revenues of as much as $2,000 per day. Some of the gambling started as early as 1988.

The operation included video gambling, sports betting and an "outlaw" lottery - all of which violate state law, it was stated.

The complaint says the "outlaw" lottery involved placing illegal bets on legal state lotteries.

A raid was conducted on the Killian operation on Jan. 15.

Authorities said Killian ran the sports betting operation through an individual identified only as Person A."

The complaint says two video gambling machines containing $2,786 were found at the Lotto Mart, 519 E. 12th St., South Pittsburg, and $3,000 was found in a safe.

It says $11,609 in cash was seized from Mike Killian Wholesale Fireworks, 1505 S. Cedar Ave., South Pittsburg. It says $21,080 was seized from a safe. Two laptop computers and two desktop computers were confiscated.   

As a part of the plea deal, Killian agreed to the forfeiture of all the money and property.

In the plea agreement, Killian said he knew that the gambling operations were illegal.

From about 2007 to January 2013, the gambling machines at the Lotto Mart were located in a separate room with a door marked "Private". Income was between a few hundred to several thousand dollars a week.

The agreement says the illegal betting operation started in 2002 with Person A running it and dividing the proceeds evenly with Killian. In case Person A did not have enough cash to pay off winning bettors, Killian supplied the money. Person A either personally paid off the winners or left envelopes filled with cash at the Lotto Mart.

From 2002 until the recession in 2008, the sports betting operation yielded about $45,000 per year that was split between Killian and Person A.

In October 2012, Killian set up an account with OutlawLine.com - a sports betting site owned out of Costa Rica - and Person A received sports bet through the account until January.

The outlaw lottery began in 1988 and yielded $50 to $60 per day. It involved bets placed on lotteries in Tennessee, Georgia and illinois.

Mike Killian was mayor of South Pittsburg until 2004 until 2012.

He considered running for state Senate in 2007 when the seat was vacated by Ward Cruchfield, but decided against it.

Killian is represented by Chattanooga attorneys Lee Davis and Bryan Hoss.


Family Makes Treasure Trove Of Early Chattanooga Photographs Available For Book; Stokes Collection Has Been Passed Down To Descendants

A treasure trove of Chattanooga photographs that have been passed down in the Stokes family for generations has now been assembled in an upcoming book. Chattanooga Around The Turn Of The Century: The Remarkable Stokes Collection will be published by Chattanoogan.com. Pre-orders are now being taken for the book, which includes over 700 photos on large-size pages. Publisher ... (click for more)

Symphony Sues Bank, Foundation Over Distribution Of Lillian Colby Trust

The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera Association has filed suit, saying it is not getting its promised share of the estate of Lillian L. Colby. The Chancery Court complaint was brought against SunTrust Bank and the Lillian L. Colby Charitable Foundation. The suit says Ms. Colby regularly attended CSO productions, was a season ticket holder for many years, and often made monetary ... (click for more)

Leaders Lead On Amendment 1

This week the Hamilton County Commission was faced with what I believe may be one of the most important votes they have cast during their tenure.  Granted, the vote was over a "mere" Resolution that resulted in no overt action or new law in our county.  But there are times when simply speaking Truth and taking a stand on a foundational Principle is paramount and as such ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)

East Hamilton Personnel Losses Boost Other 5-AAA Hoop Teams

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – East Hamilton’s loss has been solid gains for two other basketball teams in District 5-AAA and Ringgold, Ga. One of the Hurricanes’ top players, Kenny Bunton, left the program two days after Rodney English replaced fired Michael Stone and transferred to Walker Valley where he will play for coach Bob Williams’ Mustangs. “I took the job in March and two days ... (click for more)

John Shearer: Memories Of Watching 38 Baylor-McCallie Games

Back in the fall of 1971 when I was in the sixth grade at Bright School, I listened on the radio to the exciting football game between Baylor and McCallie schools, the first since the series had been discontinued after 1940. I was hoping to attend Baylor School as a student the next year, so I was quite excited that Baylor won, 9-7.  And the next year as a seventh-grader, ... (click for more)