A Tennessee Highway Patrolman walks around the lot of McDivitt Motors in March, two days after he was arrested.

Covington car dealer Marty McDivitt is no longer allowed to sell used vehicles in Tennessee.

That was the gist of a press release issued today by the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission.

According to the release, the commission voted unanimously to suspend the used motor vehicle dealer license of McDivitt Motors, which McDivitt owns.

The commission took the action “after receiving numerous complaints related to dealership owner Marty McDivitt and McDivitt Motors, LLC related to the unlicensed sales of new cars and the failure to pay off liens on vehicles purchased or traded by McDivitt, among other complaints.”

Paula Shaw, the commission’s executive director, said, “The commission took swift action in order to send a strong message that we will protect consumers from any unlicensed activity by McDivitt Motors.”

The Motor Vehicle Commission, which oversees the regulation and licensure of Tennessee motor vehicle dealers and salespersons, is coordinating its efforts with state law enforcement agencies.

McDivitt, 52, was arrested March 20 in Covington, booked into the Tipton County Jail and charged with theft by deception ($10,000 to $100,000) and deceptive practice, both felonies.

He was alleged to have written a bad check for $25,000 for a vehicle in Columbia, Ill. According to the court clerk in Monroe County, those charges were dropped on March 28.

Two days after his arrest, officials with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Tennessee Department of Revenue came to the McDivitt lot on Highway 51 and seized vehicles and other things from the office. The lot has sat empty and been closed since then.

McDivitt has not been arrested on any other charges. The investigation is ongoing.

Consumers who have been affected by McDivitt Motors can contact the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission at 615-741-2711.

Tennessee auto dealers are required to have a surety bond to obtain a license. Complainants may be eligible to make a claim against that bond with the bond company. The bond company investigates each claim on its merit and determines eligibility.

The press release offered the following steps for consumers:

• If you are a consumer and in possession of a temporary tag which is about to expire, please contact your local county clerk and have ready your bill of sale showing your purchase from McDivitt Motors along with a copy of the complaint you have filed with the Motor Vehicle Commission  or report that you filed with law enforcement.        

• Affected consumers should also consult a private attorney to determine their rights as a consumer and whether further legal action is necessary in regards to their specific complaint.

• Some consumers may qualify to post a bond with the Tennessee Department of Revenue, Vehicle Services Division to obtain title and/or registration. Eligibility is dependent on the specifics of each individual situation. Learn more information by calling 615-741-3101.

Jeff Ireland is The Leader's sports editor. To contact him, call 901-476-7116 or email​