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Acting TBI director hires Lebanon attorney, placed on paid leave after allegations

Jacob Smith • Jun 19, 2018 at 5:55 PM

Acting Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director Jason Locke hired Lebanon attorney Jeff Cherry after Gov. Bill Haslam launched an investigation into allegations he misused state funds.

According to TBI public information officer Susan Niland, Locke was placed on administrative leave with pay Wednesday pending the outcome of the investigation.

“The TBI has a senior staff comprised of several assistant directors and other executive-level personnel who will oversee operations of the Bureau until Monday, June 25, when David Rausch assumes responsibilities as TBI Director,” said Niland.

Haslam announced Monday that he would appoint Rausch as the new director after Locke stepped into the role when Mark Gwyn retired in May.

Locke has been with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for 21 years, but he started his law enforcement career in Wilson County with the Watertown Police Department and then the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.

According to Haslam spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals, the investigation began when Haslam received emails from Locke’s wife, Kim Locke, on Friday. He then asked the Department of Safety to follow up on the allegations.

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