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Alexander ‘Stunned, Surprised, Disappointed’ to Learn of Police Investigation into Chief of Staff for Child Pornography Allegations

Statement from U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; December 11, 2013:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement:

“I was just informed by the United States Senate legal counsel’s office that law enforcement agents are conducting a search of the personal residence of Ryan Loskarn, the chief of staff of my Washington, D.C., office regarding allegations involving child pornography. I am stunned, surprised and disappointed by what I have learned. Based on this information, I immediately placed Mr. Loskarn on administrative leave without pay. The office is fully cooperating with the investigation.”

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Turner Requests Joint Committee Meeting to Investigate DCS Records Release Refusal

Press release from the Tennessee House Democratic Caucus; January 10, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner has sent a letter to Governor Haslam, Speaker Harwell and Lt. Gov. Ramsey requesting they convene a joint government operations committee meeting to investigate the Department of Children’s Services refusal to release records relating to the abuse and death of children under their care and reports that they have returned children to homes where there is evidence of abuse.

“The mission of the Department of Children’s Services is too important for them to operate in secrecy,” said Chairman Turner. “It is well past time that we have a full accounting of problems within the agency, so we can determine how best to move forward and fix them.”

Multiple Tennessee media outlets have recently been denied an open records request that sought to shed some light into the tragic deaths of children under the agency’s supervision. This follows news that the agency failed to disclose these deaths as required by law. The desire for more information stems from reports that the Department of Children’s Services has failed to protect children from abuse by allowing victims of child abuse to remain in the custody of their abusers.

“If Governor Haslam is unwilling to take the appropriate steps to protect the lives of children, then we must force him,” said Rep. Sherry Jones, who has been a leading advocate in the effort to protect children in DCS custody. “Over the past two years the leadership of DCS has moved our state backward in respect to disclosure of records and in protecting children from child abuse. I hope that my Republican colleagues will join me in pushing for more transparency and accountability that will move DCS forward.”

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I am requesting a joint meeting of the Government Operations committee to investigate the Department of Children’s Services. The department has steadfastly refused to release records concerning the deaths of children under their care. In addition, reports have indicated that the department has allowed children to be returned to homes where there is evidence of abuse.

Due to the urgency of this matter, I am asking the meeting be set as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Michael L. Turner

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TBI Adds Paris Murderer to Top 10 Most Wanted List

Press release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; August 28, 2012: 

Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation today put a Milan, Tenn. man on the state’s Top Ten Most Wanted List after he was charged with murder in Henry County for a fatal shooting that occurred last week.

Tevin Lumpkin, 20, last known address 2057 Cedar Street, Milan, Tenn. is wanted by the Henry County Sheriff’s office for first degree murder. On August 25, 2012, Lumpkin shot the victim, 41- year-old Eric Kinley of Paris, Tenn., at Fahrenheit 101, a nightclub located on Highway 79 south in Paris after Kinley was involved in a confrontation with several other people.

Lumpkin has a criminal history that dates back to 2010 and includes attempted criminal homicide, assault on a police officer, aggravated assault, multiple other assault charges, drug charges and resisting arrest.

Lumpkin is described as a black male with brown eyes and black hair who is known to wear dread locks. He is 6’1” and weighs approximately 170 lbs. He was last seen in an older model white Pontiac Bonneville with black hubcaps and should considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Tevin Lumpkin is urged to call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND. There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

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TNDP: Beavers, Weaver Defend Campaign Contributor’s Cash Infusion

Press Release from the Tennessee Democratic Party; Oct. 21, 2010:

NASHVILLE – State Sen. Mae Beavers of Mount Juliet and state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver of Lancaster owe a huge debt of gratitude to a prominent Wilson County man whose furniture and appliance store chain is reportedly under investigation by the state for sales-tax irregularities.

Both lawmakers have received large infusions of cash into their campaign coffers from Albert “A.J.” McCall II, co-owner of D.T. McCall and Sons. The Carthage-based business, according to media reports, has been the focus of a state Department of Revenue investigation, which itself is being reviewed by state and federal law enforcement agencies.

“Mrs. Beavers and Mrs. Weaver have treated Mr. McCall very well,” Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said. “They even sponsored legislation to help Mr. McCall out of a bind when he got into trouble inappropriately using an official state logo in newspaper advertisements.

“Both of them refuse to support funding critical infrastructure projects like roads, bridges and schools, but they will use taxpayer money to return a favor for a rich campaign contributor like A.J. McCall.”

The legislation (SB3494/HB3629) the two lawmakers sponsored did not become law, but it would have required the state to develop a new logo and spend taxpayer money managing the use of the logo.

Beavers continued her staunch defense of McCall in today’s (Thursday, Oct. 21) edition of the Lebanon Democrat, a local newspaper. Her quote implied she may seek retribution against a District Attorney who requested that state and federal law enforcement authorities take a closer look at the handling of the sales-tax investigation.

“This is an abuse of power and something that needs to be looked into next year,” Beavers, whose campaign treasurer is A. J. McCall’s wife, told the newspaper.

McCall contributed $55,000 to McCall PAC, a political action committee created earlier this year listing him as an officer, according to state records. His father and a co-owner of the store, Albert McCall, contributed $15,000 to McCall PAC last month.

Beavers has received at least $15,000 from the PAC, and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, who was a Republican gubernatorial candidate during the summer’s Primary elections, received $7,500. Weaver, an employee of D.T. McCall and Sons, received $10,000 from the PAC last month. Additionally, a political action committee formed by House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada of College Grove dubbed CAS-PAC, received $7,500 from McCall PAC.

Numerous other Republican state House and state Senate candidates have received tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions from the PAC and family members of the owners of D.T. McCall and Sons.

Last year, A.J. McCall announced his intention to run for the state Senate seat held by Beavers, who had considered a run for Wilson County mayor. Beavers, however, abandoned her mayoral campaign in March of this year after McCall abandoned his run for the state Senate. McCall sought the state House seat of Rep. Stratton Bone of Lebanon in 2008 but lost handily.

“Mrs. Beavers is right about one thing,” Forrester said. “The actions of her, Mrs. Weaver and Mr. McCall need to be looked into now, not next year.

“Voters should know why an elected official would give more preferential treatment to a rich contributor than an ordinary person who struggles with paying a mortgage, utility bills and tuition for a child’s college education,” he added.