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Davidson County lawmakers ask Funk to investigate Casada's spending

Posted: 5:43 PM, May 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-30 19:49:39-04
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A group of Davidson County lawmakers is asking District Attorney General Glen Funk to investigate whether House Speaker Glen Casada misused taxpayers' money.

It comes a day after Funk's office told NewsChannel 5 Investigates that the D.A. had not ordered an investigation into a political operative's questionable state job because no one had complained to them about the deal. That deal was first exposed by NewsChannel 5.

The formal request was signed by Rep. Bob Freeman, the Nashville Democrat who chairs the Davidson County delegation, and five other members of the delegation.

"I honestly have no preconceived notion of what the findings will be," Freeman said in a phone interview.

"I just want to know again that the taxpayers' money was spent in a responsible and appropriate manner. Whatever that is, if they find out that it was, I'll be fine. If it wasn't, we need to make sure there are safeguards in place to keep this from happening again."

RELATED: House Speaker put political operative on state payroll

Our NewsChannel 5 investigation discovered that, after Casada was elected Speaker back in January, he gave political operative Michael Lotfi a state job, paying him almost $50,000 a year.

Lotfi admitted he was not required to submit time cards - or even work a full 40 hours a week.

The political operative resigned two weeks ago, insisting he has done nothing wrong. Legislative officials say he may be required to pay back money he received on days he was a no-show.

Ironically, Funk himself faced a similar investigation four years ago about a state job that was created for him before he took office.

Funk paid the money back, and the state attorney general decided not to prosecute.

Also signing the letter with Freeman were Reps. Vincent Dixie, Darren Jernigan, Bo Mitchell, Jason Powell and Mike Stewart.

View NewsChannel 5's full investigation:

Capitol Hill Controversy