SOMERVILLE, TN (abc24.com) - A candidate for the Tennessee State House is fighting back, after his arrest on charges he lied on his election forms.
John Bragorgos was arrested Monday after being indicted by a Fayette County grand jury.
"I didn't break any law," said Bragorgos, in an exclusive interview with abc24.com.
According to District Attorney D. Michael Dunavant, Bragorgos was charged with two felonies related to election documents he submitted in late-February and early April.
Bragorgos says the charges stem from an address he listed on his election forms. The address is on Hiawatha Street in Somerville. It is a rental home owned by his brother.
"Your residence is where your heart is, and where you work at every day and where you want to be at everyday," said Bragorgos.
According to Tennessee law, a State Representative candidate must live in their county for at least a year prior to the election.
Bragorgos said he was, first in a home that he lost in a foreclosure in November 2011. He says after that, he moved his family to Germantown, which is in Shelby County and not in the district Bragorgos was planning to run in.
Even so, Bragorgos said he planned to live in Fayette County. He rented his brother's home starting in April 2012, paying him $500 rent.
He says he spent six nights there.
"My heart is in Fayette County," he said.
Bragorgos says he's the victim of a witch-hunt by people who are angry that he continues to speak-out against elected officials and government waste.
"If I made a mistake I would be the first to tell you if I have been fighting for two years and asking these people to be honest and I broke the law, I would be the first to say, you are right," he said.
State Rep. Bartlett Rich is running against Bragorgos.
"Representative Rich has a personal policy to not comment on the legal matters of others so I am afraid he is going to respectfully pass on this subject," F. Brent Leatherwood, Rich's communications director told abc24.com via email.
"I can't drop out, what do you quit now, in the 11th hour, say you got me? Well they got me, they got me beat, they got me down. But no, I have come this far," he said.
"All you want people to do is be honest, you can't get one person to be honest, wouldn't that make you mad?" Bragorgos said as tears welded up in his eyes.
Bragorgos says he will work to clear his name. He's due in court on Thursday for his arraignment.