The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office, working in conjunction with the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, has released its investigative report detailing a series of questionable actions by the former Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Acting Director Jason Locke and the former Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Deputy Commissioner.
Investigators determined the two state employees sometimes coordinated their state-paid overnight travel in order to further a personal relationship; however, the employees were conducting valid state business on these occasions.
The investigation revealed a series of improper or inappropriate actions that are summarized as follows:
- The former TBI acting director instructed one of TBI’s public information officers to improperly destroy a government record. The TBI received a private Facebook message from the Facebook account of the former TBI acting director’s spouse alleging a misuse of state funds. After discussing the message with the TBI acting director, the public information officer deleted the message within 10 minutes after it was received.
- The former TBI acting director inappropriately used his state vehicle to transport the former MHSA deputy commissioner on a trip to Atlanta, GA. The former MHSA deputy commissioner did not have official business in Atlanta. TBI policy prohibits unauthorized people from being transported in Bureau vehicles.
- The former MHSA deputy commissioner failed to claim annual leave during the two days she spent in Atlanta with the former TBI acting director. MHSA department officials subsequently corrected this failure after investigators brought it to their attention.
- The former TBI acting director and former MHSA deputy commissioner installed the application WhatsApp on their state-issued cell phones to facilitate communication. This online messaging application allows text, voice, video and document messaging with end to end encryption. The use of this application creates a challenge to capture and retain public records.
- The former TBI acting director and former MHSA deputy commissioner inappropriately used their state issued cell phones. During a 10-month period, there were 883 calls made between the two employee’s state-issued cell phones, totaling 8,219 minutes. Cell phone records indicate calls were made during working hours, after work hours and on weekends.
The results of this investigation were referred to the local district attorney. The Davidson County Grand Jury determined that neither employee violated any criminal statutes.
To view the investigative report online click here.