NewsNewsChannel 5 InvestigatesQuestions of Influence


Timeline: Questions of Influence

Timeline: Questions of Influence
Posted at 8:20 AM, Jul 15, 2014

A continuing NewsChannel 5 investigation examined hundreds of millions of dollars in questionable state contracts, as well as Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's cozy ties with a prominent Capitol Hill lobbyist.

Questionable Contracts

May 13, 2013: Enterprise Deal Raises Questions About Outsourcing Effort

NewsChannel 5 has uncovered serious questions about how parts of Tennessee's state government -- in this case, the state's motor pool -- are being outsourced to private business.

May 15, 2013: Vehicle Contract Outsourced To Company With Connections

A multimillion-dollar contract for maintenance on state vehicles was supposed to save taxpayers' money. But "NewsChannel 5 Investigates" discovered some examples where you're actually paying more.

May 17, 2013: Lawmakers Promise Review Of Questionable Contracts

Two questionable state contracts -- first uncovered by "NewsChannel 5 Investigates" -- will face scrutiny from state lawmakers.

June 3, 2013: State Rental Car Bills Riddled With Questionable Charges

An exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation has discovered some state agencies may be paying more to rent cars than they should.

June 10, 2013: Governor Invested In Company Getting $330 Million Contract

Does Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam have a financial stake in a massive new contract to outsource the management of state buildings? That's the question uncovered by NewsChannel 5.

June 10, 2013: State Scraps Questionable Vehicle Maintenance Contract

A questionable state contract, first exposed by NewsChannel 5, is being scrapped. That's what the Haslam administration told lawmakers Monday afternoon.

June 13, 2013: Senate, House Leaders Call For Review Of State Contract

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell said Thursday they want the legislature to review a string of no-bid deals given to real estate giant Jones Lang Lasalle.

June 17, 2013: Administration's Claims About Cordell Hull Questioned

The Haslam administration is preparing to demolish the 59-year-old Cordell Hull Building. But some of the administration's claims about the building's condition may have been exaggerated.

June 18, 2013: Tour Raises More Questions About Cordell Hull Demolition

If the Haslam administration hoped to convince lawmakers that a historic state office building should be demolished, they may have failed.

June 18, 2013: L&C Landlord Seeks Millions Over Canceled State Lease

The landlord for one of Nashville's landmark high rises has filed a claim against the state, asking for millions of dollars in damages.

June 25, 2013: Governor Denies Self-Interest In State Contracts

Gov. Bill Haslam responded Tuesday to questions about how his administration has handled millions of dollars in state contracts. He insisted that the public's interest has been his only motivation.

June 28, 2013: Comptroller: JLL Lease Commission 'Seems Very Wrong'

That was the first reaction of Tennessee's top fiscal watchdog after he heard about how the Haslam administration planned to let a state contractor make millions of dollars in extra cash.

July 15, 2013: Committee Set To Review Haslam Administration Contracts

How has the Haslam administration spent millions of dollars of your money? That's the question that the legislature's Fiscal Review Committee will be asking Tuesday morning.

July 16, 2013: State Will Get Second Opinion On Cordell Hull Building

A historic state office building in downtown Nashville may not be down for the count -- just yet. The Haslam administration says it will get a second opinion on its plans to destroy the Cordell Hull.

July 16, 2013: Haslam Administration Denies Wrongdoing On Contracts

Inside the hearing room, state lawmakers had few tough questions. Outside, Haslam's General Services Commissioner faced questions for the first time.

July 25, 2013: WEB EXTRA: Memo Confirms Contract Questions

A staff report, not shared with the legislature's full Fiscal Review Committee, told a more complicated story regarding two state contracts than what members heard in public session.

Aug. 2, 2013: General Services Commissioner Resigns, Returning To Private Sector

The man who led the charge to outsource big chunks of Tennessee state government to private business has called it quits. The governor's office announced Friday that General Services Commissioner Steve Cates is leaving to return to the private sector.

Aug. 20, 2013: Haslam Administration Faces New Contract Allegations

The allegations come from a Nashville-area moving company, accusing state officials of bending the rules so that they could give taxpayers' money to an out-of-state competitor.

Aug. 26, 2013: Did Haslam Administration Tell Whole Truth About Contract?

New emails raise questions about whether the Haslam administration told a legislative committee the whole truth about a big state contract.

Oct. 3, 2013: State Employee: 'We've Already Broken Several Laws'

That startling statement -- made by a career state employee -- describes how the Haslam administration handled one questionable contract. It's contained in new email messages just obtained by NewsChannel 5.

Oct. 28, 2013: JLL Deal Called 'Serious Conflict Of Interest'

There's new evidence that a big corporation found more ways to make money off of taxpayers than many knew. JLL has insisted that it's saving taxpayers a lot of money.

Nov. 13, 2013: Audit Questions Big Haslam Administration Contract

A scathing new audit suggests the Haslam administration may have mishandled a multimillion-dollar contract involving the state's real estate. It confirms the findings of a NewsChannel 5 investigation.

Nov. 14, 2013: State Prepares To Expand Questionable Contract - Again

NewsChannel 5 has learned that the Haslam administration may be about to give even more of your tax dollars to the company at the center of a scathing state audit.

Nov. 15, 2013: Democratic Chairman Calls For State Contract Reform

It's time for new ethics rules to keep your tax dollars from being abused. That's the message from the head of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

Nov. 20, 2013: Senator Drafting Contract Reform Legislation

A Democratic lawmaker is filing legislation that he hopes will lead to major contract reform in Tennessee following a NewsChannel 5 investigation.

Dec. 12, 2013: Commission Puts Brakes On Questionable Contract

In a sudden reversal, state officials suddenly put the brakes on a questionable state contract. The Haslam administration had wanted to expand its controversial deal with Jones Lang Lasalle yet again.

Dec. 18, 2013: Lawmakers Put State Agency Under Microscope

Amid questions about how it spent tens of millions of dollars, Tennessee's Department of General Services will now be forced to prove why it should continue to exist.

Jan. 27, 2014: Haslam T3 Plan May Miss Projections By $80 Million

An exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation has uncovered questions about one of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's pet projects and his claim of incredible savings. We discovered what could be an $80 million mistake.

Jan. 28, 2014: Facilities Deal Misses 'Expected' Savings By Tens Of Millions

When you hear the word "expected," that may not really mean expected. So says the company that got a multimillion-dollar contract from the Haslam administration to outsource the management of state buildings.

Jan. 28, 2014: Senator Asks Auditors To Review Haslam Savings Claims

A leading lawmaker is asking state auditors to investigate the Haslam administration's claims about how much it's really saving taxpayers. It follows an exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation.

Jan. 29, 2014: Governor Dismisses Questions About Savings Exaggerations

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam dismissed questions Wednesday about whether his administration exaggerated the potential savings of two major programs.

Feb. 26, 2014: State Takes First Steps Towards Privatizing Parks

NewsChannel 5 has learned the Haslam administration has taken the first steps that could lead to the privatizing of almost a dozen state parks. Now some fear that could cost hundreds of state employees their jobs.

March 11, 2014: Senate Committee Rejects Contract Reform Bill

A Democratic effort to outlaw inappropriate conflicts of interest in state contracts ran into a wall of Republican opposition in a Senate committee. The debate follows an exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation.

March 26, 2014: Report Pegs Cost Of Saving Cordell Hull At $64M - Or Less

Should the historic Cordell Hull state office building be saved -- and how much would it cost? The Haslam administration released the first report from an architect hired to give the state a second opinion.

Aug. 18, 2014: Study Offers New Hope For Cordell Hull Building

There's new hope for a historic state office building on the grounds of the state Capitol that the Haslam administration had wanted to demolish.

Aug. 21, 2014: State Suggests Plan To Save Cordell Hull Building

The Haslam administration formally recommended Thursday that the historic Cordell Hull state office building should be saved and renovated.

Sept. 11, 2014: State Contractor Pockets $1.3 Million For Two Leases

The state of Tennessee's real estate consultant will pocket $1.3 million for helping to negotiate just two leases for state government.

Nov. 5, 2014: Haslam Administration Pays $100K For Contract Claim

The state paid $100,000 to a company that claimed it lost business after the Haslam administration broke the law on state contracts.

Lobbyist Influence

May 6, 2013: State Considers Coal Mining, Oil Drilling On Protected Lands

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is currently negotiating with a coal company to allow coal mining on a wildlife area, as well as an oil company to allow drilling on a wetland.

May 7, 2013: Lobbyist On Payroll Of Both Governor, Special Interests

Tom Ingram wears two hats. He runs The Ingram Group, a lobbying firm that he started in 1983. He boasts on his website that he "currently" serves as a "general consultant" to Gov. Haslam.

May 10, 2013: Haslam Keeps Payments Private

Governor Bill Haslam is not revealing how much he personally pays lobbyist and consultant Tom Ingram.

May 13, 2013: Haslam Defends Secret Payments To Lobbyist

Gov. Bill Haslam defended making private payments to lobbyist Tom Ingram on the same day the Tennessee Ethics Commission called on Ingram to answer questions about his lobbying activities.

June 25, 2013: Haslam Campaign Will Resume Payments To Lobbyist

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced Tuesday that he plans to make his payments to political adviser and lobbyist Tom Ingram public, beginning later this summer.

July 8, 2013: Emails Reveal Key Lobbyist's Access To Haslam Administration

State emails, obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates, show the high-level access clients got when they hired the governor's own political consultant.

July 11, 2013: Did Governor Haslam Break Campaign Finance Laws?

State e-mails, obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates, raise new questions about whether Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam broke campaign finance laws by paying lobbyist Tom Ingram out of his own pocket.

July 15, 2013: Governor Insists Lobbyist Payments Violated No Law

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam told NewsChannel 5 that he does not believe his private payments to lobbyist Tom Ingram violated state campaign finance laws.

Aug. 1, 2013: Ethics Case Against Haslam Adviser Ingram On Hold

The state board that regulates lobbyists in Tennessee deferred final action Thursday on whether to fine lobbyist and political consultant Tom Ingram, his partner and a client they both represented.

Aug. 8, 2013: Questions Prompt State Museum To Postpone Alexander Exhibit

The Tennessee State Museum has postponed a big exhibit featuring U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander after questions raised by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

Aug. 15, 2013: Haslam Faces Formal Ethics Complaint

The former chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party claims the governor violated campaign finance laws by refusing to disclose how much he paid lobbyist and political consultant Tom Ingram.

Sept. 11, 2013: Ethics Commission Takes No Action Against Ingram, Haslam

On Wednesday, the Tennessee Ethics Commission closed two complaints involving prominent Capitol Hill lobbyist Tom Ingram and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. No fines will be levied in either case.

Oct. 9, 2013: Registry Dismisses Campaign Complaint Against Haslam

A complaint against Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, accusing him of breaking state law with his payments to a prominent lobbyist, was dismissed Wednesday by the state board that regulates campaign finance.

March 17, 2014: Well-Connected Investors Take Insurance Fight To Lawmakers

A controversial bill in the legislature would force insurance companies to cover a specific type of cancer treatment. Insurance companies claim it is unproven and much more expensive than traditional methods.

March 26, 2014: Emails Reveal Strategy To Pass Proton Therapy Bill

Notes from a phone call involving one of seven lobbyists hired by the  Provision Center for Proton Therapy discussed how other legislative battles "may allow us to come in somewhat under the radar."

May 15, 2014: FBI Raids Company With High-Powered Connections

A company at the center of a controversy involving the governor and a high powered lobbyist now finds itself in the spotlight again. Agents with the FBI and IRS raided offices of HR Comp Employee Leasing.

June 17, 2014: Lamar Alexander Dismisses Campaign Finance Complaint

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander's re-election campaign faces a possible investigation by the Federal Election Commission over issues first raised by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.


Dec. 19, 2013: One-Hour Special Examines Haslam Controversies

For months, the Haslam administration has faced questions over deals it struck with big business, along with the governor's close ties to a high-powered Capitol Hill lobbyist.

March 31, 2013: 'Questions Of Influence' Special Receives Headliner Award

NewsChannel 5's "Questions of Influence" documentary has been honored with a National Headliner Award.

April 2, 2013: NewsChannel 5 Receives Prestigious Peabody Award

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.

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