The man running the state’s top law enforcement agency is going on paid administrative leave while he is under investigation for possible misuse of government funds.
Acting Director Jason Locke will be off the job starting Wednesday, June 20
Senior staff will oversee operations of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation until next Monday, June 25th, when David Rausch takes over the agency.
This comes in the wake of an email sent by Locke’s wife to government offices and media outlets, making claims about possible misuse of state funds during an alleged affair with an employee at the State Department of Mental Health.
On Monday, the governor’s office told News 2 it referred the allegations to law enforcement but did not name which agency.
A spokesperson for the Department of Mental Health said it is coordinating information with the governor’s office and the TBI.
Two of Tennessee’s top public officials weighed in on Tuesday, calling on Locke to resign.
House Speaker Beth Harwell said, “I commend Governor Haslam for immediately launching an investigation into the allegations regarding Acting TBI Director Jason Locke’s misuse of funds. Locke now needs to step down. This should be dealt with swiftly, as the taxpayers of this state deserve nothing less. Tennesseans must be able to have trust in the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.”
Lt. Governor Randy McNally said, “The allegations against Jason are extremely troubling. If I were advising him, I would counsel him to resign for the good of his family and the bureau.”
Locke has hired an attorney, Jeff Cherry of Lebanon.