Another trooper has filed suit against the Tennessee Highway Patrol,
making him the third person in recent weeks to take on the patrol for its
allegedly questionable personnel practices.
On Feb. 2, Matthew Disney filed a lawsuit in federal district court,
alleging that promotions were given within the patrol to troopers who supported
the 2002 election of Gov. Mitch Bredesen, WBIR-TV reported.
Disney is the third trooper to come forward with allegations of
corruption and cronyism within the ranks of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
On Feb. 6, Charles B. Farmer, a former lieutenant within the patrol,
filed a lawsuit against the state’s Department of Safety, claiming he was fired
from his job in 2004 after it was discovered that members of his family
supported Republican candidates in a 2002 statewide election, The Tennessean reported.
Farmer claims he had never done poorly on evaluations until 2003, when
a superior officer – the same man he claims chastised him for not supporting a
Democratic candidate a year earlier – gave him bad marks. According to The Tennessean, after the poor test score,
Farmer was moved to a midnight shift before being terminated.
Testimonials of wrongdoing within the patrol are beginning to creep out
of the woodwork. During the same week as Farmer’s lawsuit, THP Trooper Archie
Story claimed he was being fired from the patrol, after he complained to his
supervisors about being forced to fix a ticket and change an accident report,
according to The Associated Press
Further details on who the supposedly fixed ticket pertains to have not
emerged. However, Story – a trooper with the patrol for nine years – said he
filed the complaint in January, and was notified of his termination five days
later, according to The AP.
THP officials have denied the claim, saying that Story’s firing has
nothing to do with his complaint, but rather with two accidents he arrived to
late, The AP reported.
The three lawsuits are the latest in a string of scandals
to emerge from Tennessee’s state and local police forces, most of which stem
from an ongoing investigation by The
Tennessean. The newspaper has uncovered more than a dozen incidents,
with allegations ranging from sexual misconduct to high-level cronyism
throughout the state’s police force and various levels of government.