Bills not in place to prevent corruption in Tennessee Highway Patrol

| 4/26/2006

The public has been in an uproar over it. The governor’s office has demanded it. But when this year’s legislative session ends, state lawmakers still probably won’t have approved any bills to prevent corruption within the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The House Transportation Committee Chairman, Rep. Phillip Pinion, D-Union City, has asked that two bills that would tighten the reins on corruption within the patrol be put on hold for one year. According to Pinion, the move would give Gov. Phil Bredesen additional time to fix problems within the administration without legislation.

If they were to pass, the bills would place restrictions on the patrol’s promotions system, as well as officers’ ability to give political contributions.

With the bills stalled in the House – and with questionable support in the Senate – no laws are expected to be passed during this legislative session, Nashville newspaper The Tennessean reported.

The patrol was embroiled in controversy after dozens of incidents began 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 allegations ranging from sexual misconduct to high-level cronyism throughout the state’s police force and various levels of government.