Ethics Commission Takes No Action Against Ingram, Haslam - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NC5 Investigates: Questions of Influence

Ethics Commission Takes No Action Against Ingram, Haslam

Posted: Updated: Sep 11, 2013 09:06 PM

by Ben Hall
Investigative Reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Ethics Commission met in public and privately today and discussed two issues involving lobbyist and political operative Tom Ingram.

First, the commission could not come to final decision on whether to fine Ingram, his firm or a client for failing to register with the state.

It effectively means the issue is closed, and the commission will not levy any fines.

Ingram's firm lobbied on behalf of Hillsborough Resources for three years.

Hillsborough oversees a coal company that wants to mine on state land.

Ingram told NewsChannel 5 Investigates in May that the failure to register was an "inadvertent oversight."

Today, the Ethics Commission voted 3-1 to take no action, but it officially takes four votes for a motion to pass.

It is the second time the commission has stalemated.

One board member abstained from the vote.

Another board member proposed a $1000 penalty, but no other member seconded his proposal.

Executive Director Drew Rawlins said the issue is effectively over.

"It's basically done unless the Ethics Commission asks me to put it back on the agenda.  It will not automatically appear on the Ethics Commission agenda again," Rawlins said.

Late Wednesday, the Ingram Group released the following statement: "We're pleased that a majority of the Commission determined again - just as they did in August - that no civil penalty or other action was warranted in this case.

"We are glad this matter has been taken off the Commission's agenda, and we appreciate the thoughtful consideration the Commission and its staff has given to this matter."

In a second matter, the Ethics Commission met in a closed door session to review a complaint filed against Gov. Bill Haslam's campaign.

Commission rules require closed-door meetings to review complaints.

Former Democratic Party Chair Chip Forrester filed a complaint with the commission that claimed Gov. Haslam violated ethics rules by refusing to disclose how much he personally paid lobbyist Tom Ingram.

According to attorney Joseph "Woody" Woodruff with Waller, Lansden, Dortch and Davis, who represented the governor's campaign, the commission dismissed the complaint.

Commission members are not allowed to talk about the issue.

When contacted after the meeting, Chip Forrester told NewsChannel 5 Investigates he was not aware the complaint had been dismissed.

Forrester's complaint must still be heard by another state board.

The Registry of Election Finance will review the complaint at its meeting next month.

The Registry's meetings are open to the public.

Email: bhall@newschannel5.com

NC5 Investigates: Questions of Influence

Read campaign finance complaint against governor

Tell Us What You Think!
On Facebook:
NewsChannel 5 Investigates
NC5_BenHall

On Twitter:
@NC5Investigates 
@NC5_BenHall

Back to NewsChannel 5 Investigates

  • NewsChannel 5 InvestigatesMore>>

  • NewsChannel 5 Investigates:

    NewsChannel 5 Receives Prestigious Peabody Award

    NewsChannel 5 Receives Prestigious Peabody Award

    April 2, 2014 01:22 PM 2014-04-02 19:05:51 GMT
    NewsChannel 5 and the NewsChannel 5 Investigates team have been honored with one of broadcasting's highest honors, the coveted George Foster Peabody Award, for an on-going investigation of Tennessee state government.more>>
    NewsChannel 5 and the NewsChannel 5 Investigates team have been awarded one of broadcasting's highest honors, the coveted George Foster Peabody Award, for an on-going investigation of Tennessee state government, it was announced Wednesday.more>>
  • NC5 Investigates: Economic Incentives

    UAW: 'Ball Is Back In The Governor's Court'

    UAW: 'Ball Is Back In The Governor's Court'

    Monday, April 21 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-04-21 23:31:06 GMT
    The United Auto Workers ended one battle Monday, but the struggle to represent Volkswagen workers appears to be far from over. And union officials promised to turn up the heat in Congress over how the Haslam administration used your money.more>>
    The United Auto Workers ended one battle Monday, but the struggle to represent Volkswagen workers appears to be far from over. And union officials promised to turn up the heat in Congress over how the Haslam administration used your money.more>>
  • NC5 Investigates: Economic Incentives

    UAW Drops Appeal Of Volkswagen Vote

    UAW Drops Appeal Of Volkswagen Vote

    The United Auto Workers has dropped its appeal of the February vote that it lost to unionize workers at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, the UAW announced Monday morning.more>>
    The United Auto Workers has dropped its appeal of the February vote that it lost to unionize workers at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, the UAW announced Monday morning.more>>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.