BY KEN LITTLE
A Greeneville man charged with stealing money raised by a political action group planning a Republican presidential forum in Kingsport was arrested Wednesday in Rutherford County, according to a release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Fabian Farrell Story, 36, was indicted in November by a Washington County Grand Jury on one count of theft over $10,000.
Story was the executive director of the Conservatives on the Move (COTM) group. He was allegedly in charge of organizing a GOP presidential forum scheduled be held in October 2011 at the MeadowView Convention Center in Kingsport.
The event was never held.
According to the TBI release, Story contacted Johnson City political activist Kay White on July 1, 2011, to help him raise money and organize the event. White raised approximately $30,000 and deposited it in a Washington County bank.
The TBI investigation found that Story withdrew the money, the event was never held, and money was not refunded to the donors.
Story was arrested by the TBI on Wednesday at the Rutherford County Courthouse, where he was appearing on a child support case.
He was booked into the Rutherford County Jail on $10,000 bond and was transported to the Washington County jail on Thursday.
The Kingsport Times-News reported on Sept. 26, 2011, that White withdrew from the forum and a separate fundraising dinner "because the main organizers haven't shown accountability."
White, a former Democratic congressional candidate and current Tea Party member, had been selling tickets and organizing volunteers for the Oct. 15, 2011, events to be staged by the Nashville-based COTM group.
"The reason I resigned was I have asked for approximately three weeks for an accountability, and I have been given nothing," White told the Times-News. "...I'm not going to lose any more of the people's money."
In August 2011, COTM announced it would stage a GOP presidential contenders debate and star-laden fundraising dinner featuring television commentators Karl Rove and Oliver North.
In September 2011, Story announced the debate had been changed to a forum because candidates didn't like the debate format.
White told the Times-News she repeatedly asked Story for bank statements of COTM's political action committee and separate non-profit unit.