TIMELINE: Investigating the Investigators

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A continuing NewsChannel 5 investigation has exposed questionable ethical conduct inside the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and raised the issue: Who investigates the investigators?

Here are the stories:

Nov. 20, 2017: Whistleblower Questions TBI Hiring Practices

"Nepotism is in the policy, and it's not allowed," said former TBI employee Melissa Smith. Still, Smith told NewsChannel 5 Investigates that she watched children of TBI bigwigs get hired as special agents -- over military veterans with far greater law enforcement experience.

Nov. 21, 2017: Is TBI Fudging Truth On Veterans Law?

Is Tennessee's top law enforcement agency fudging the truth to get around a state law designed to help veterans get back on their feet? That's the accusation from a former employee of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation -- and hundreds of pages of TBI personnel documents support her allegations.

Jan. 23, 2018: TBI Hiring Practices Spark New Legislation

A NewsChannel 5 investigation of the hiring practices inside Tennessee's top law enforcement agency has prompted two Democratic lawmakers to introduce new legislation.

Jan. 25, 2018: Lawmakers Question TBI Director About Hiring

Tennessee's top cop faced questions Thursday on Capitol Hill about his hiring practices. It follows questions raised by an exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation.

Feb. 8, 2018: Mark Gwyn To Retire As TBI Director

In a letter to TBI employees on Thursday, Gwyn said it was a decision he had “prayed and thought about” and he believes “this is the right time for me and for the Bureau.”

March 22, 2018: Veterans Preference Bill Passes Tennessee House

If you've served your country, you must be given a leg up if you come home and want a state job. That would become the law under a bill that passed the state House.

April 17, 2018: Some TBI Director Candidates May Face Questions

Forty-four people have applied to become the next director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. But NewsChannel 5 Investigates has discovered that some of them may have some tough questions to answer.

April 18, 2018: List Of TBI Director Candidates Now Down To 10

The state's TBI Nominating Commission narrowed the list of applicants for the next director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation down to 10.

April 26, 2018: TBI Director Defends Use Of $10M Airplane

An exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation discovered that the $10 million aircraft has also been used for the convenience of TBI Director Mark Gwyn, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.

April 27, 2018: Who Investigates The TBI?

When there are questions about a local police agency, authorities usually turn to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. But a recent state audit of the TBI raises questions about who can investigate the state's top investigators.

May 15, 2018: Three Men Nominated For TBI Director

A nominating commission interviewed nine finalists to be the next director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and, at the end of a long day, sent the names of three men to Gov. Bill Haslam.

May 17, 2018: Governor Gets TBI Nominations Amid Controversy

Haslam said Thursday that there's not much he can do about the diversity issue or the controversy over how the lone female candidate was treated during Tuesday's interviews.

May 21, 2018: TBI Nominee Settled Lawsuit Alleging Wrongdoing

A finalist to be the next director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation once settled a lawsuit with a woman who claims she was fired for refusing to keep quiet about his "illegal and improper" activities, NewsChannel 5 Investigates has learned.

May 22, 2018: Groups Question Treatment Of TBI Candidate

Is this the way you would want your wife, sister or mother to be treated? That was the question today from a number of women's groups, who had strong words for the panel that's helping select the next director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

June 18, 2018: Acting TBI Director Facing Investigation

The acting director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation now finds himself at the center of an investigation based on allegations from his own wife, NewsChannel 5 Investigates has learned. 

June 18, 2018: Knoxville Police Chief Named New TBI Director

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch to be the next director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

June 19, 2018: Acting TBI Director Put On Administrative Leave

TBI Acting Director Jason Locke will be placed on administrative leave amid a growing scandal, the agency announced

June 20, 2018: Woman Accused In Affair With TBI Boss Suspended

The state official accused of having an extramarital affair with former Acting TBI Director Jason Locke has been placed on administrative leave.

June 20, 2018: TBI Boss Still Has Phone Despite Investigation

When former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry admitted to having an affair with her police bodyguard, the TBI went after the couple's phones looking for evidence. But, facing similar allegations, it appears the former acting director of the TBI may not be getting the same treatment.

June 21, 2018: Amid Scandal, Former TBI Acting Director Retires

The former acting director of the TBI has decided to retire, amid a growing scandal involving an alleged affair with another high-ranking state official.

June 25, 2018: David Rausch Sworn In As New TBI Director

Former Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch was sworn as the new director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Rausch's swearing-in ceremony came just a week Gov. Bill Haslam appointed him. 

June 27, 2018: New TBI Director Tells of Hopes For Agency

Three days into his new job, the head of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said he's amazed and impressed by what he's seen of the state's top law enforcement agency.

June 28, 2018: TBI Director: 'Learning Lot That I Didn't Know'

One of Rausch's first challenges may be to get a good grasp on exactly what's happened in the past -- what insiders have revealed to NewsChannel 5 Investigates to be the true story of what's happened inside Tennessee's premier law enforcement agency.

July 3, 2018: TBI Spokesperson Placed On Administrative Leave

A regional spokesperson for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has been placed on administrative leave as part of the criminal investigation of the TBI's former acting director.

Aug. 2, 2018: NC5 Files Public Records Lawsuit

Lawyers for NewsChannel 5 have asked a Davidson County judge to order the TBI and the Tennessee Department of Mental Health to produce public records relating to former Acting TBI Director Jason Locke's alleged affair with another state official.

Aug. 10, 2018: Grand Jury Does Not Indict Former TBI Director

After hearing testimony, a Davidson County Grand Jury determined that "neither party committed a violation of any criminal statute."

Aug. 21, 2018: Spokesperson Still Faces Internal Investigation

A regional spokesperson for the TBI remains on administrative leave, now the subject of an internal investigation into his actions on behalf of former Acting TBI Director Jason Locke. Those actions are included in a just-released state audit.

Sept. 5, 2018: TBI Public Information Officer Resigns

The scandal involving the former acting TBI director's affair with a state official has now cost another person his job. It's a scandal first revealed by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

Oct. 15, 2018: Chancellor Backs State In Public Records Battle

Public records cease to be public once they become of interest to criminal investigators, a Davidson County judge has ruled.

Nov. 5, 2018: TBI agents accused of illegal search

A West Tennessee couple refused to let two Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents search their house without a warrant. They say what the agents did next was a crime.

Nov. 8, 2018: TBI Internal Investigations Shrouded In Secrecy

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation insists it has no problem investigating itself. In the past, its internal investigations have been shrouded in secrecy. Now, following questions raised by NewsChannel 5 Investigates, the new TBI director is promising more transparency.

Nov. 12, 2018: TBI director regrets role in UT rape case

For the first time, the director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is expressing regret over his involvement in a rape investigation of two University of Tennessee football players when he was the police chief in Knoxville.

Nov. 12, 2018: TBI director revamps hiring, aircraft policies

Tennessee's new top cop says he is revamping hiring processes and placing stricter controls over the use of agency aircraft as he attempts to restore the image of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Special Section:
NewsChannel 5 Investigates: The Investigators

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