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VOL. 42 | NO. 24 | Friday, June 15, 2018

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's acting director on leave

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Acting Director Jason Locke is being placed on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations that he misused state funds, officials said Tuesday.

Bureau spokesman Josh DeVine said in a statement that Locke's administrative leave begins Wednesday. Senior staff will oversee operation of the state police agency until David Rausch takes over as TBI director next Monday, DeVine said.

Gov. Bill Haslam announced Rausch's appointment on Monday, after the agency confirmed Locke was under investigation. Rausch is Knoxville's police chief.

The governor's office produced emails Haslam received Friday from Locke's wife, Kim Locke, about her husband, alleging he used taxpayer money to carry on an affair with another state official from November 2016 through July 2017.

Haslam has asked the Department of Safety and Comptroller's Office to follow up.

Locke's lawyer, Jeff Cherry, did not immediately return a message. On Monday, he said, "We are continuing to work through the issues," but declined further comment.

Locke, a 21-year veteran of the bureau, was one of three finalists for the permanent director job. The third contender was Tennessee Board of Parole member Tim Gobble.

Rausch has served as Knoxville's police chief since 2011 and oversees more than 500 employees, including about 400 sworn officers.

Former TBI Director Mark Gwyn retired last month after three decades with the agency.

WTVF-TV in Nashville first reported the allegations and the investigation into Locke.