Press release from the House Republican Caucus; April 3, 2012:
Rep. Haynes and Sen. Yager Applaud Bill Removing Diversion for Elected and Appointed Officials Who Commit Criminal Offenses in Their Official Capacity
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The General Assembly is sending legislation to the Governor that raises standards for those holding public office in Tennessee.
House Bill 2763, passed by the House unanimously on Monday evening, makes elected and appointed public officials ineligible for diversion for criminal offenses committed in their official capacity or that involve the duties of their offices. Pre-trial and judicial diversion are the processes in criminal law when a person pleads guilty to a crime and can later have the charge expunged, or removed, from their record following a period of probation.
The Senate previously passed its version of this same legislation on February 6, 2012.
Following the passage of the legislation, Representative Ryan Haynes (R—Knoxville), the House sponsor of the bill, stated, “I am proud to have the unanimous support of my House colleagues on this legislation. In the past few years, we have seen the public grow more and more skeptical of public officials because many of them have abused the powers of their office. I believe that must end. I think it is important we hold ourselves, and other officials, to a higher standard. All Tennesseans agree with that principle.”
“With this bill we are sending the message that a public office is still a public trust and criminal conduct in public office will not be tolerated,” added Senator Ken Yager (R—Harriman), the Senate sponsor of this bill. “Those few elected officials who use their office for ill gotten gain violate the public’s trust put in them. This bill will not allow crooked officials’ records of violation of that trust to be swept away by pretrial or judicial diversion.”
The legislation now goes to Governor Bill Haslam for his signature to become law. To find out more information about HB 2763, click here.