Republicans are expected to elect a longtime political activist to be the state's top budget cop. But that man says he's not talking about what he knows about a major scandal involving your money.more>>
The next big test for Republican lawmakers comes Thursday.
That's when they hope to put their own people in charge of billions of dollars of your money.
One of those GOP nominees --- Justin Wilson -- has dodged questions about his past.
That is until Tuesday.
Our chief investigative reporter Phil Williams tracked him down at the state Capitol.
Wilson was deputy governor under former Gov. Don Sundquist -- during the time that an administration official was rigging a big state contract for a friend of the governor.
Wilson says it didn't know about it at the time.
But he won't say what he later learned about the fraud upon taxpayers.
If he's elected state comptroller, tax attorney Justin Wilson would become the watchdog over how state government spends your money.
So what did he learn about Sundquist official Joanna Ediger's rigging of a $2 million state contract -- a contract that went to one of Sundquist's closest friends?
And what did he do, at the time, to protect taxpayers? That's what we wanted to know
Wilson: "I had no participation in it, whatsoever, Mr. Williams." Williams: "That wasn't my question." Wilson: "None whatsoever." Williams: "Do taxpayers have a right to know what you were told afterwards?" Wilson: "Anything that might involve any sort of confidential information that may have come to me from anyone -- and I don't mean Gov. Sundquist -- if I'm obligated as a lawyer, I'm obligated under my legal obligations. I don't even want to imply that Gov. Sundquist ever told me that he even knew anything about it." Williams: "But you're not saying whether he did or did not?" Wilson: "I can't, as a lawyer, say anything -- period."
Wilson also says he remembers very little about $7 billion investment scheme he once pushed as a lobbyist -- a scheme under which the state would have taken out life insurance on certain retirees and cashed in when they died.
Phil will have more of his interview with Justin Wilson coming up Wednesday on NewsChannel 5.
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