TBI Public Information Officer Accused of Destroying Government Record Resigns

A public information officer with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) in West Tennessee has resigned following an internal investigation into former acting TBI director Jason Locke, The Tennessean reports. Micheal Jones is accused of improperly destroying a government record after deleting a private Facebook message sent to TBI from Locke's wife, alleging the misuse of state funds. Jones, who had been on the job for less than a year was placed on administrative leave on June 26, oversaw public affairs for 21 counties in the West Tennessee region.

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Haslam Comments on Issues Surrounding Finalists for TBI Director Position

Gov. Bill Haslam says he understands issues that have been raised about the candidates he is considering to lead the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and will be mindful of these concerns when personally interviewing each, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports. Among the nominees are Acting TBI Director Jason Locke; former Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble and Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch.
Some of the issues raised regarding the nominees include a lawsuit brought against Gobble alleging violation of first amendment rights by his former finance director, the hiring of Locke’s son — a recent college graduate with no law enforcement experience — by the agency, sparking concerns of nepotism, and "professional courtesy" calls made by Rausch to then University of Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones about a rape investigation involving two players. Each candidate was approved by the independent TBI Nominating Commission for Haslam and will be subject to vetting by a retired FBI special agent to conduct background investigations on the nominees.
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TBI Director Announces Retirement

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Director Mark Gwyn announced his retirement earlier today after 14 years in charge, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Gwyn, who has spent a cumulative 30 years in law enforcement, said it's the "right time" for both himself and the organization. 
The organization has faced much criticism of late regarding hiring practices, fiduciary concerns that sparked a state audit questioning the financial management of the agency and recent debate over a $250 DUI fee deemed unconstitutional that went into TBI coffers.
"I believe I have done all that I can do to improve our resources, training and equipment for the Bureau family," Gwyn said. "It was my goal to leave the Bureau better than it was when it was given to me."
Gwyn will remain TBI director until June 1, allowing a special commission that recommends the agency's directors to search for his successor.
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