Tag Archives: derek

Haslam Backs Firing of UT Football Coach; Silent on Successor

Chas Sisk reports that Gov. Bill Haslam, who is chairman of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees, supports the decision to fire UT football coach Derek Dooley…. but has no opinion on a successor or the salary he should be paid.
“Ultimately college football at a school as big as Tennessee, it is about results,” Haslam said. “I like Derek a lot. I think he in a lot of ways brought a lot of things to the program … but for Tennessee to have the football program they need, they need to have a better won-lost record than they’ve had for the last three years.”
Haslam said he did not have a favorite to replace Dooley. Nor would he say how much Dooley’s replacement should be paid — an issue for the UT athletic department as it faces a budget crunch after buying out its third coach’s contract in less than five years.
“I don’t think ultimately that’s the governor’s decision,” he said. “In the end, the reality is Tennessee football is a big revenue-producing sport, and it helps finance scholarships for the rest of the school student body as well as a lot of the other, non-revenue-producing sports. In order for Tennessee to work, they need to have a successful program.”

Senate Staffer Fired for Political Activity at Work

An aide to Sen. Ophelia Ford was fired Tuesday in the wake of a TNReport story that showed him apparently conducting political work while collecting his state paycheck.
“As of today, Derek Hummel’s employment with the Tennessee General Assembly has been terminated,” Office of Legislative Administration official Tammy Rather told TNReport via email.
Hummel had been executive secretary for Ford, D-Memphis, since April, drawing a $30,468 annual salary. He’s also been working for the Phillip North campaign, a Democrat locked in a tight race against Republican Steve Dickerson for a Davidson County state Senate seat.


Full story HERE. Previous post HERE.

State Senate Staffer Reported Doing Political Work on State Time

A Tennessee Senate staffer appears to have been doing political work while collecting a full-time state paycheck, an apparent violation of state law, public records and documents reviewed by TNReport show.
Derek Hummel has been executive secretary for Sen. Ophelia Ford, D-Memphis, since April of this year, drawing a $30,468 annual salary. Over the past three months, he has also been conducting political activities during state business hours on his state-issued computer, according to phone records and Facebook postings.
Hummel has identified himself as field director for the Phillip North for State Senate campaign. Hummel was paid $625 in September by the North campaign, according to campaign finance filings released last week.
When TNReport visited Ford’s office at the Capitol last week to interview Hummel, no one was present, but Hummel’s desk was strewn with what appeared to be campaign material, and political documents were visible on his taxpayer-funded desktop computer.
During an attempt to interview Hummel today, he accused TNReport of violating state law by calling him on his government-office phone.
“You’re an idiot,” Hummel told TNReport. “I’m calling Bill Fletcher,” he added, before abruptly hanging up. Fletcher is a prominent Tennessee Democratic campaign advertising specialist and political strategist.
…According to a state law call the “Little Hatch Act,” state employees are prohibited from “engaging in political activity not directly a part of that person’s employment during any period when the person should be conducting business of the state.” The law mirrors the federal Hatch Act.


Note: The state Republican party’s rapid response team had criticizing news release out promptly. Here it is:
Tennessee Republican Party Executive Director Adam Nickas today released the following statement regarding a news report that Democrat State Senate candidate Phillip North’s Campaign Field Director ran campaign operations out of the legislative office of Sen. Ophelia Ford (D-Memphis) with state-owned equipment on state time:
“Phillip North has set a new low for public corruption. Without ever serving a day in the legislature, Phillip North has managed to violate our system’s most basic legal and ethical boundaries. It is disgraceful that North would allow a state employee to work on his campaign full-time while drawing a check for full-time work from the taxpayers of Tennessee. North has broken trust with the citizens of Nashville by having taxpayers subsidize his campaign effort. He should immediately return to taxpayers the money his field director took while he was explicitly doing political work on state-owned equipment on state time.”