After motorist T. Allen Morgan got a speeding ticket in Coopertown — a town known for its heavy-handed traffic enforcement — he tried to pay his ticket like a good citizen.
But he added a little note on his check that angered Mayor Danny Crosby. The mayor refused to accept the check, sparking the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to launch an investigation Monday.
Crosby told Morgan that he had to either write another check that didn't have the words "for speed trap" written in bold letters or face the charges in traffic court.
At the request of District Attorney General John Carney, the TBI is investigating if Crosby acted illegally by denying Morgan's payment, TBI spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson said.
"As mayor of this city, if I accept that check from that gentleman, I'm admitting we run a speed trap, and that's a bald-faced lie," Crosby said Tuesday.
Coopertown lies about 20 miles northwest of Nashville on a state highway used by motorists to travel between interstates 24 and 65. The town generates nearly 30 percent of its revenue from traffic tickets.
Last month AAA officials said the automobile association was considering adding Coopertown to its list of national "strict enforcement areas," an honor shared by only seven other cities.