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Knox County DA Letter Opposing Public Release of ex-Judge Baumgartner TBI File

Letter dated Feb. 27, 2012, from Knox County District Attorney General Randall E. Nichols to Knox County Commission Chairman Mike Hammond:

The Honorable Mike Hammond
Chairman, Knox County Commission
City­ County Building
Knoxville, TN 37902

Dear Mr. Chairman:

I read in the newspaper that Commission was considering a resolution regarding unsealing the investigative report on former Judge Richard Baumgartner. We are presently in Court arguing the validity of judgments rendered by said Judge and we are appealing the rulings heretofore made by the Courts. Judge Blackwood has sealed all but approximately 155 pages of the voluminous report and absent intercession by the Appellate Court, he is the only one who can unseal it. We are not in disagreement that the public should be allowed to know the file contents and we may very well move to unseal. Those decisions should be make known in written pleadings before the Court and we are striving to get a hearing to lítigate these issues.

The Commission resolution does not aid our efforts for a full and complete hearing on these most important issues and I am concerned with setting such a precedent when in fact the secrecy of TBI is a worthwhile tool in investigations involving allegations of public corruption.

Thank you for your consideration, and if you Wish, I will be pleased to keep you and Commission advised of the status of this critical litigation.

Sincerely,
Randall E. Nichols
District Attorney General
6th Judicial District

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