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Kelsey Ketron resigns from Tennessee Republican Party's Executive Committee

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Posted at 2:14 PM, Jul 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 15:45:46-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Kelsey Ketron, daughter of Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron, has resigned from the Tennessee Republican Party's Executive Committee.

Michael Sullivan, executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party, confirms that Ketron has resigned effective immediately from her position on the State Executive Board.

Sullivan said he was notified of her resignation by Republican Party Chair Scott Golden, who said he received a short letter from Ketron. Sullivan described the letter as brief and simply said she was resigning and that it had been an honor to serve District 13 for the last five years.

Ketron was in her second term in the elected, but volunteer, position. She was re-elected to the position last year.

Sullivan said that there had been no pressure from the state Republican Party for her to resign amidst the growing troubles that she is facing.

Ketron is now fighting to keep her state insurance license after the Tennessee Insurance Division issued a Cease and Desist order in late May, alleging that she had used fraudulent business practices in the sale of an insurance policy at Universal International Insurance on South Church Street in Murfreesboro. The agency is owned by Ketron's father, Bill Ketron, the current mayor of Rutherford County and former state senator.

As NewsChannel 5 Investigates first reported, at least three customers of Universal International Insurance say they gave premium checks to Kelsey Ketron, who is the agency's vice president, for insurance policies only to later discover that they had no coverage.

Last week, Murfreesboro Police and agents with the U.S. Secret Service raided the office. They spent more than nine hours there, leaving with more than two dozen boxes of documents. Detectives also served a search warrant at Ketron's home that same day.

Tennessee's Cease and Desist order banned Ketron from all insurance related activities, but employees told NewsChannel 5 Investigates that she had still been coming into the office.

Over the weekend, her father said in a written statement he released to the Daily News Journal, addressed to the Citizens of Rutherford County, that his 28-year-old daughter would be taking a leave of absence from the business.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates has also raised questions about $60,000 in unpaid fines for campaign finance violations, stemming from Bill Ketron's senate campaign and his political action committee, Quest. The fines, $10,000 each, were issued by the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance last year, after Ketron's campaign and his PAC failed to turn in six required campaign finance filings on time. After the fines were not paid, the Registry turned the case over to the Tennessee Attorney General's Office for collection.

At last check, those fines had still not been paid and the AG's Office was preparing to file a lawsuit. Kelsey Ketron was the treasurer for both the campaign and the PAC and was responsible for getting those files submitted.

Michael Sullivan with the Tennessee Republican Party says that Ketron's seat on the state Executive Committee will remain vacant until the Party can appoint a committee to find a replacement to serve the remainder of the four-year term. Once the committee recommends a name to replace Ketron, it must be voted on by the full Executive Committee.


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