Acting TBI director's alleged misuse of state funds under investigation

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Acting Director Jason Locke is under investigation by the state after serious...

Posted: Jun 19, 2018 10:53 AM
Updated: Jun 19, 2018 10:53 AM

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Acting Director Jason Locke is under investigation by the state after serious misconduct allegations were brought to the governor by Locke's wife, Kim.

In a series of emails sent to Gov. Bill Haslam last week, Kim Locke accused her husband, one of three candidates in the running to be the next TBI director, of using state resources to engage in an extramarital affair with Sejal West, former deputy commissioner of the TN Dept. of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

"He admitted to me that he drove his state vehicle and she drove her state vehicle to stay at hotels overnight in Knoxville, Tenn. and in Jackson, Tenn., paid for by the State of Tennessee," Locke said in one email to Gov. Haslam, which were obtained by the News4 I-Team. "They each found a reason to be at those locations to continue their affair."

While Locke only confessed to those two trips, Kim believes he and West took many more.

"Sejal West's husband told me that there were numerous trips out of town on state time that they took together," she said. "Jason only admitted to two trips."

The affair allegedly took place between Nov. 2016 and Dec. 2017. It ended, she said, when West's husband, Ben, found out about the affair.

Misuse of state funds is only one of many serious allegations against Jason Locke and Sejal West mentioned in the emails.

"I'm very afraid that I'm in danger," Kim wrote in a follow-up email to Gov. Haslam. "[Jason] picked up a gun last night and held it in his hands the whole time we talked. I just need to know you're reading this and someone knows."

She also said Locke "has done away with" the state-issued phone he initially used to engage in the affair with West and "was issued a new state phone and began using WhatsApp to continue the affair because it is encrypted."

Kim also mentioned her husband's alleged drinking problem, saying Locke told her to lie if she was questioned about it during the background check process for the TBI directorship.

"He was also concerned that someone would ask me how much alcohol he consumes," she wrote. "He asked me to lie and say he only has 2-4 drinks a week. I can assure that is not the case. I am devastated and I'm very worried for my children."

Gov. Haslam turned over the allegations to the TN Dept. of Safety and Comptroller's Office so they could be investigated further.

A spokesperson from the TBI released a statement to News4 about the investigation into Jason Locke, saying:

"The TBI has been made aware of, and takes seriously, the accusations involving Acting Director Jason Locke," a spokesperson from the TBI told News4. "An immediate, outside review related to the accusation of misuse of state funds is underway, and we would defer further questions related to that aspect to the Governor's Office."

The Davidson County Attorney General's office also issued a statement about the investigation:

"We have been in communication with the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury and the Department of Safety and Homeland Security regarding the investigation of the Interim Director of the TBI, Jason Locke."

News4 has reached out to Locke's legal representation for comment but have not heard back.

Haslam appointed Knoxville Police Dept. Chief David Rausch as the new TBI director on Monday. Rausch will be sworn in on Monday, June 25.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 481397

Reported Deaths: 9395
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32996486
Hinds30973586
DeSoto30491353
Jackson23650348
Rankin21267368
Lee14867220
Madison14145271
Jones13365226
Forrest13125238
Lauderdale11538305
Lowndes10418176
Lamar10184130
Pearl River9055219
Lafayette8218137
Hancock7501112
Washington7033150
Oktibbeha6937124
Monroe6491161
Neshoba6463201
Warren6439163
Pontotoc626593
Panola6219126
Bolivar6105144
Marshall6102121
Union573086
Pike5590136
Alcorn536090
Lincoln5297131
George470072
Scott456096
Leflore4468140
Prentiss445277
Tippah443680
Itawamba4430100
Adams4403116
Tate4351101
Simpson4324112
Wayne431566
Copiah431087
Yazoo423086
Covington414792
Sunflower4137104
Marion4087104
Leake397186
Coahoma394298
Newton368775
Grenada3553104
Stone350659
Tishomingo334689
Attala324886
Jasper313762
Winston303591
Clay295273
Chickasaw286665
Clarke280290
Calhoun265140
Holmes261887
Smith249549
Yalobusha220547
Tallahatchie218850
Walthall210558
Greene207845
Lawrence206033
Perry199353
Amite198152
Webster195942
Noxubee178239
Montgomery172054
Jefferson Davis167642
Carroll161937
Tunica152734
Benton142035
Kemper138440
Claiborne126634
Choctaw126326
Humphreys126337
Franklin116628
Quitman103626
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson88833
Sharkey62820
Issaquena1926
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 781915

Reported Deaths: 13798
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1109621748
Mobile706071213
Madison49359617
Baldwin36054485
Shelby35933311
Tuscaloosa33540540
Montgomery32996673
Lee22337218
Calhoun20935400
Morgan19666329
Etowah18890454
Marshall17575274
Houston16598377
St. Clair15287298
Limestone14442184
Cullman14441252
Elmore14299259
Lauderdale13395278
Talladega12781234
DeKalb12102233
Walker10495328
Autauga9611135
Blount9595154
Jackson9293152
Coffee8764174
Dale8485171
Colbert8448180
Tallapoosa6557177
Escambia6541117
Covington6409165
Chilton6314142
Russell600655
Franklin5744101
Chambers5350133
Marion4748116
Dallas4672185
Clarke459177
Pike458895
Geneva4333116
Winston420292
Lawrence4099108
Bibb405680
Barbour342969
Marengo324783
Monroe316652
Butler316088
Randolph302855
Pickens300673
Henry299657
Hale290483
Cherokee286752
Fayette276473
Washington245048
Crenshaw236768
Clay226264
Cleburne225750
Macon218057
Lamar192541
Conecuh180146
Lowndes170758
Coosa167533
Wilcox159636
Bullock148642
Perry136336
Sumter124136
Greene120542
Choctaw73326
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