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Grand Jury Urges Ramsey, Harwell Indictments

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Posted at 6:23 PM, Sep 26, 2014
and last updated 2015-09-07 14:26:20-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Davidson County Grand Jury has thrown fuel onto a long-simmering political controversy.

Friday, the grand jury recommended that Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell should face criminal charges for their appointments to a state commission.

A spokesperson for District Attorney General Glenn Funk said he had received the report and was reviewing it.

"However, he does not want to give the impression that he is planning to move forward with any charges in this case," the spokesperson said.

At the center of the controversy is a commission appointed to recommend whether Tennessee's appellate judges should be retained.

Longtime activist John Jay Hooker had argued Ramsey and Harwell did not appoint enough women and minorities to the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission.

While a local judge agreed with Hooker, that same judge refused to stop the commission from meeting earlier this year.

Hooker has now appealed that case to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

The political activist had lobbied the grand jury to issue Friday's report.