The promotion of two Tennessee Highway Patrol
sergeants has been put on hold after The
Tennessean newspaper uncovered their involvement in the “honorary
On Monday, Aug. 8, Tennessee Gov. Phil
Bredesen told the patrol to stop issuing “honorary captain’s” badges and photo
ID cards to supporters. That order came after The
Tennessean discovered that the official-looking honorary badges –
part of a program some believe was a secretive way for high-profile citizens to
stay out of trouble with the law – had been given to politicians, campaign
donors and celebrities for more than 30 years.
But according to The Tennessean,
two sergeants – Sgt. Tansil Phillips and Sgt. Timothy Holloway – whose
testimony was key in the dismissal of a DUI case against an “honorary captain”
are now having their promotions to Lieutenant put on hold by state Safety
Commissioner Fred Phillips. The sergeants’ promotions were scheduled to happen
three days after the governor ordered the end of the honorary program.
The commissioner also put a temporary halt on all promotions for
lieutenants and sergeants until the DUI case can be more thoroughly
However, at least one of the two men in question apparently hadn’t
received the memo on his stalled promotion. When The Tennessean phoned Holloway at his Memphis office on
Monday, Aug. 15, both Holloway and his assistant used the title of “Lieutenant” before his name when they answered the phone, the paper reported.
reported that 360 people had received the badges since 2002, 19 of whom are
current or past staffers for the governor. Two badgeholders in the program –
which had no eligibility criteria, application process or background checks – were found to have criminal records.