From the News Sentinel:
A top officer over the University of Tennessee Foundation is facing federal child porn charges, accused of downloading and possessing illegal material on a laptop.
Bruce O. Downsbrough, the chief operating officer and executive vice president of the foundation, UT’s fundraising arm, was taken into custody Tuesday morning by agents with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Postal Service and authorities with the Knoxville Police Department.
He has been placed on administrative leave. The investigation does not appear to be related to his duties at UT, said spokeswoman Gina Stafford in statement.
He faces a four-count indictment, which was unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.
The indictment alleges that on Dec. 4, 2008, Downsbrough downloaded child pornography. He is again accused of downloading the material on Feb. 8, 2009 and on an unspecified date in April 2012.
The charging document indicates that federal authorities searched Downsbrough’s home on Nov. 16, 2012. According to records, they discovered 19 digital video discs as well as images on a computer hard drive.
Full story HERE
Hours after former Knox County Trustee Mike Lowe was arraigned Monday on felony theft charges, his attorney went on the attack, reports the News Sentinel. He asked a court to toss the case because the state tarried too long and crucial records are missing as a result. Defense attorney Gregory P. Isaacs on Monday afternoon filed a motion seeking dismissal of the charges upon which Lowe was arraigned that morning at a brief hearing before Knox County Criminal Court Judge Steve Sword.
Lowe is accused in two indictments of felony theft. In one, he is charged along with former employee Ray Mubarak of making fraudulent payments totaling more than $60,000 to Mubarak and Mubarak’s title-search company, Tennessee Residential Services. In the other, he is accused of making fraudulent payments also totaling more than $60,000 to former employees Delbert Morgan and John Haun. The various charges date as far back as 2004.
All four men appeared before Sword for arraignment Monday. Lowe and Mubarak, who is represented by attorneys Tom Dillard and Stephen Ross Johnson, entered not guilty pleas. Sword set a Dec. 3 trial date. Attorneys Jeffrey Z. Daniel and John Valliant reserved entry of pleas on behalf of Morgan and Haun, respectively. Sword set a July 13 status conference in all four cases. A fifth defendant, Rhonda Jan Thomas, faces a Friday arraignment in a related case.
Isaacs argues in his motion the Knox County District Attorney’s Office knew or should have known about the theft allegations as far back as June 2007 when an audit by Rodefer Moss made findings Isaacs contends are a mirror image of the conclusions reported by a special grand jury last month after an 18-month review
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Metro Nashville Councilman Brady Banks has been cleared of a charge of patronizing prostitution.
The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/KrI4Hg ) reported the Davidson County district attorney general’s office said Monday that Banks had completed the city’s “john school” for first-time offenders.
Banks reached an agreement with prosecutors that he would complete the course and the charge would be dropped.
The first-term council member could still face some political fallout from his Feb. 16 arrest at a city hotel during an undercover Metro Police prostitution sting.
Banks admitted his mistake, but said he would remain in office. Some residents of his district have talked of trying to recall him.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals judge has been charged with drunken driving in Knoxville.
Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk told The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/JmbTZi) that 58-year-old Jerry Smith of Nashville was arrested shortly before midnight on Monday.
DeBusk said an officer stopped Smith’s car because the rear hatch was open and luggage was about to fall out.
The officer then found that Smith had slurred speech and unsteady, bloodshot eyes.
Smith refused to submit to a blood alcohol test, bringing another charge for violation of the implied consent law.
Smith was ordered released on his own recognizance after he was sober.
A person answering the phone at Smith’s office said he has no comment.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Rep. David Hawk returned to the state Legislature on Monday afternoon, just hours after his first court appearance on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence resulted in an order for the Greeneville Republican to have no contact with his wife.
Hawk accepted handshakes and well wishes from fellow lawmakers at his desk before stepping out of the chamber to meet with reporters.
“Yesterday morning my wife had a gun and told me that she was going to put a bullet in my head while I was holding my baby,” Hawk said.
Hawk’s account of the incident stands in contrast to the criminal complaint obtained by The Greeneville Sun (http://bit.ly/ws76T2), which describes Cristal Hawk saying her husband grabbed her by the arm, struck her in the face and knocked her to ground in an altercation at their home.
Crystal Hawk said she was holding their 11-month-old daughter at the time. She said her husband then took the child and went to a neighbor’s house.
News release from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation:
Knoxville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation presented additional evidence to the Unicoi County Grand Jury today which resulted in additional charge against Unicoi County Sheriff Kent Harris. His attorney was served with another criminal summons this afternoon.
The Unicoi County grand jury indicted Harris on an additional count of official misconduct for using his county computer in November of 2011 to produce letters intended to solicit funds to pay his attorney fees. In October of 2011, the grand jury indicted Harris on six counts of official misconduct, one count of theft over $1,000, one count of tampering with evidence, one count of criminal simulation and one count of attempted aggravated assault. TBI began the investigation into allegations of misconduct made against Harris in September of 2010 after being requested by the 1st Judicial District Attorney General’s Office.
Harris is scheduled to appear in court on March 27, 2012 at 9:00 am for an initial appearance on the new charge. A July 2012 trial date set been set for the theft and criminal simulation charges.
Former District Attorney General Joe Crumley turned himself in Friday night on charges stemming from a September pursuit by Jonesborough Public Safety, according to the Johnson City Press. According to booking information from the Washington County Detention Center, Crumley, 58 215 Scott Lane, Jonesborough, arrived at the jail Friday with a bondsman and was booked on charges of reckless driving, evading arrest, reckless endangerment and failure to yield.
His bond was $12,500. He bonded out of the jail that night.
Crumley, who was district attorney general from 1998-2006, was stopped by Jonesborough officers just after noon on Sept. 21 after nearly striking a patrol vehicle head on in the 100 block of East Main Street, according to JPS.
Crumley was pursued to Tenn. Highway 81 South, where he was stopped after reportedly running several vehicles off the road. Once stopped, Crumley’s vehicle lurched forward, striking a JPS vehicle involved in the pursuit. No one was reportedly hurt in that crash.
Former county commissioner Joe Ford, who last year served as interim Shelby County mayor, has been charged with theft of property under $10,000 for allegedly bouncing a check written to pay for two Rolex watches, reports the Commercial Appeal. Ford, 57, is named in a warrant posted on the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office website that lists the charge as theft of property over $1,000 and under $10,000.
He surrendered to authorities shortly after 4:30 Tuesday afternoon at 201 Poplar. He was booked and released Tuesday night.
According to a police incident report, Ford bought a man’s black Rolex and a woman’s white gold Rolex from the Las Savell jewelry store on Dec. 24 and paid with a check for $5,835.31 that later was returned twice for insufficient funds.
Ford asked that the check “not be cashed” until Jan. 1, when he could afford the purchase, the police report says. The check was unsuccessfully processed Jan. 18 and again on Jan. 21.
The jewelry store made numerous attempts to have Ford cover the payment, but he did not follow up on his promises to pay for the watches, the report said.
The charge is a felony that carries punishment of two to 12 years.
Efforts to reach Ford by phone Tuesday were unsuccessful.
TBI news release:
Knoxville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation today arrested a former Clinton Police Department officer after the Anderson County Grand Jury returned an indictment against him on one count of aggravated statutory rape at the completion of a month long TBI investigation and presentment to the grand jury.
Randall Chisum, 29, Maynardville, Tenn., was booked into the Anderson County Jail this morning after a capias was issued for his arrest. On May 9, 2001, the mother of the 17-year-old victim told the police department of Chisum’s inappropriate contact with her daughter.
When confronted, Chisum resigned from the department. TBI was requested by the 7th Judicial District Attorney General to open an investigation on May 11, 2011. It determined that Chisum had sexual relations with the 17-year-old girl earlier that month. Chisum was being held on a $25,000 bond.