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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: 320107

Reported Deaths: 7378
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22291269
Hinds20741421
Harrison18444317
Rankin13917282
Jackson13731249
Madison10270224
Lee10060176
Jones8473167
Forrest7834153
Lauderdale7263242
Lowndes6523150
Lamar636088
Lafayette6314121
Washington5426137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4671110
Oktibbeha466398
Pearl River4606147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425973
Monroe4161136
Union415877
Neshoba4064180
Lincoln4009113
Hancock387087
Leflore3516125
Tate342586
Sunflower339491
Pike3372111
Alcorn327473
Scott320374
Yazoo314371
Adams308386
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298984
Simpson298589
Tippah292268
Prentiss284261
Leake272274
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264842
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248963
Tishomingo232268
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215173
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Stone188733
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174232
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135447
Greene131834
Lawrence131224
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127538
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108334
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96729
Franklin85023
Quitman82316
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66328
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 549013

Reported Deaths: 11311
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810461571
Mobile42145831
Madison35718525
Tuscaloosa26179458
Shelby25626254
Montgomery25089614
Baldwin21901314
Lee16287176
Calhoun14724327
Morgan14639285
Etowah14183364
Marshall12454230
Houston10791287
Elmore10301214
Limestone10188157
St. Clair10161251
Cullman9958201
Lauderdale9612250
DeKalb8977190
Talladega8462184
Walker7341280
Autauga7242113
Jackson6953113
Blount6950139
Colbert6415140
Coffee5638127
Dale4930116
Russell454941
Chilton4478116
Franklin431782
Covington4279122
Tallapoosa4144155
Escambia401880
Chambers3728124
Dallas3610158
Clarke353161
Marion3245107
Pike314578
Lawrence3134100
Winston283572
Bibb268564
Geneva258481
Marengo250665
Pickens237062
Barbour234559
Hale227178
Butler224671
Fayette218962
Henry194443
Randolph187644
Cherokee187345
Monroe180641
Washington170739
Macon163051
Clay160159
Crenshaw156357
Cleburne153644
Lamar146937
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124542
Conecuh113630
Coosa111629
Perry108626
Sumter105832
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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