La Vergne Alderman Matthew W. Church was arrested in Nashville on Thursday on two felony charges of forgery and one felony charge of theft of property.
According to booking information from the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Church, 45, was charged with these felony counts: theft of property, $2,500 or greater but less than $10,000; and two counts of forgery, $2,500 or greater but less than $10,000. The bond is $15,000.
Church turned himself in to police following a grand jury indictment, according to Noelle Yazdani, a spokeswoman for the Metro Nashville Police Department.
The indictment was sealed, according to the Metropolitan Nashville & Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk’s Office. A court hearing date had not been set as of press time.
Church posted bond, Fann said.
Church in the past has been represented by Murfreesboro attorney Terry Fann in his role as an alderman.
He said, “David Raybin (an attorney) and I represent Alderman Church in this matter. Upon being advised of the charge involving his former employer, Alderman Church voluntarily turned himself in this morning. We will review the indictment and prepare for his day in court. These allegations are in no way related to his duties as alderman.”
Until August 2019, Church was employed by Premier Protective Services Inc.’s hazard materials division, based in the small city of Berry Hill inside Nashville. The company’s lawyer, Jack Byrd, said there had been a criminal investigation of an internal audit at Premier, but he had no further comment.
In March 2019, the La Vergne Board of Mayor and Aldermen stripped Church of his role as vice mayor after city workers filed complaints against him over alleged conduct issues. The board hired an outside attorney to investigate the possibility of an ouster suit to remove him as an alderman; that effort has made little progress. The attorney was hired after District Attorney General Jennings H. Jones said he found no criminal conduct in the matter.
The Murfreesboro Post contacted the City of La Vergne about the arrest.
Anne Smith, public information officer, said, “We are aware of the allegations against Alderman Church. Because this is unrelated to city business, we will not be making a statement. Please reach out to MNPD for more information.”