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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: 297581

Reported Deaths: 6808
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19829231
Hinds18966395
Harrison16899283
Rankin12851265
Jackson12754234
Lee9722163
Madison9522204
Jones8042148
Forrest7295138
Lauderdale6879228
Lowndes6062140
Lamar593982
Lafayette5768114
Washington5235130
Bolivar4632124
Oktibbeha443295
Panola433798
Pearl River4219132
Warren4145115
Pontotoc411071
Marshall406595
Monroe3998129
Union397074
Neshoba3857171
Lincoln3630104
Hancock353378
Leflore3402122
Sunflower321386
Tate304674
Pike302797
Scott296771
Alcorn292763
Yazoo292266
Itawamba290775
Coahoma283169
Tippah280265
Copiah280159
Simpson277881
Prentiss271258
Marion258878
Wayne255741
Leake254572
Covington250480
Grenada248978
Adams235978
Newton233353
George232845
Winston222579
Jasper214545
Tishomingo213266
Attala210571
Chickasaw202054
Holmes183470
Clay179452
Stone173529
Tallahatchie171839
Clarke170773
Calhoun158728
Smith154333
Yalobusha146036
Greene128133
Walthall125441
Montgomery123540
Noxubee123431
Perry123335
Lawrence121621
Carroll119725
Amite112435
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102931
Tunica99824
Claiborne99130
Benton94024
Humphreys93128
Kemper91523
Quitman77514
Franklin76520
Choctaw70317
Jefferson62927
Wilkinson62727
Sharkey49217
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 499819

Reported Deaths: 10148
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson720331403
Mobile36423741
Madison32708469
Tuscaloosa24457422
Montgomery22805523
Shelby22276219
Baldwin19935289
Lee15083161
Calhoun13963296
Morgan13801255
Etowah13419327
Marshall11460215
Houston10130264
Elmore9515190
Limestone9440139
St. Clair9057228
Cullman9000183
Lauderdale8630214
DeKalb8509175
Talladega7647165
Walker6601260
Jackson6552104
Autauga634792
Blount6256128
Colbert6010121
Coffee5261104
Dale4685107
Russell408134
Franklin400879
Covington3999107
Chilton3922104
Escambia379573
Tallapoosa3637143
Clarke344553
Chambers3434111
Dallas3428142
Pike293173
Marion288996
Lawrence286287
Winston258668
Bibb246558
Marengo245357
Geneva240670
Pickens226357
Barbour213951
Hale212969
Fayette202857
Butler201666
Henry183741
Cherokee178240
Monroe166739
Randolph165441
Washington157136
Macon147845
Crenshaw146955
Clay146254
Cleburne140341
Lamar133933
Lowndes133151
Wilcox123125
Bullock117736
Conecuh107224
Perry106427
Sumter101032
Coosa90324
Greene88932
Choctaw56123
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