Gov. Bill Haslam won’t have to face a court deposition as part of a lawsuit filed by Occupy Nashville following a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Joe B. Brown on Thursday afternoon, reports The City Paper.
But amid the state’s defense against Haslam being deposed, Assistant Attorney General Dawn Jordan told Brown that Haslam had provided incorrect information to the media about the Office of the Attorney General’s involvement prior to the Occupy arrests.
“We had conversations last week that involved General Services, Safety and the Attorney General’s Office was part of the conversations,” Haslam told media on Nov. 4, 2011. “… all those folks were part of the conversations.”
Jordan said that quote was not true — and used the mishap to illustrate how Haslam didn’t have “unique personal knowledge” of the conversations surrounding the implementation of a policy that resulted in the arrests at Legislative Plaza.
When asked for comment, the Governor’s Office told The City Paper it would be inappropriate to comment on Haslam’s interaction with the Attorney General’s Office due to the active lawsuit.
Brown suggested that the Occupy Nashville attorneys didn’t exhaust other methods of legal discovery before requesting to depose the governor. Occupy Nashville will have the opportunity to pose the governor questions through filing interrogatories and requests for admission. Brown said if the answers aren’t satisfactory, Occupy Nashville could request to depose Haslam again.
And while Haslam avoided having to be deposed, Department of Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Department of General Services Commissioner Steven Cates will each have to undergo four hours of deposition.
The state agency that oversees emergency communications is upgrading to what’s known as Next Generation 911, reports WPLN, and a bi-product is a sophisticated map that is going to be shared with other parts of state government.
Just as a map, this is more detailed than anything available online and will be updated constantly.
“You know, Google may get out to Perry County every couple of years and we have people who are there on the ground every day.”
(So says) Andy Spears (who) handles public affairs for the Emergency Communications Board. He says the 911 map compiles a mountain of information from property ownership to criminal records. It also has the ability to link cell phone numbers with people and places.
So Spears says the map is going to be used to improve voter registration, enforce drug-free zones and even collect taxes.
“I mean this is a way to make sure people are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. So if they are evading taxes, we want to make sure they pay taxes, absolutely.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The embattled Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is facing more scrutiny for not providing details about 31 children it had investigated that died during the first six months of this year.
In September, the agency released information that showed the numbers after repeated requests from a Democratic lawmaker and The Tennessean.
Now, the newspaper (http://tnne.ws/TCv8k7) said DCS has denied its requests to review the files involving the child fatalities.
The newspaper contends the information it has received provides limited details. Instead of providing the actual case files, the state has provided brief summaries, according to the newspaper.
Last week, The Tennessean and its counsel sent a letter to DCS calling its disclosures “woefully inadequate” and asking the agency to make records public by Dec. 18.
“The State has provided no investigative reports, fatality reviews, or task force reports, among other materials which are covered by The Tennessean’s requests,” noted the letter from the newspaper and Tennessean attorney Robb Harvey.
Continue reading →
The General Assembly’s only physician member, an anti-abortion Republican, says he expects a controversial abortion bill scheduled today for a House committee vote will undergo major changes or he won’t support the measure, according to Andy Sher.
Rep. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, said he understands the bill, sponsored by Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, will change substantially.
That includes eliminating a bill provision requiring the state Department of Health to list online the names of doctors who perform abortions in Tennessee.
“We’re going to change that and take it out because we don’t want to target doctors,” Hensley said Tuesday. “We don’t want to … have any kind of violence against them. I don’t agree with doctors doing abortions, but certainly we don’t need to make that public so that they’re in danger.”
He noted that many physicians, including obstetricians, could wind up on the list because of procedures used to treat women who have had a miscarriage.
The Tennessee Medical Association, which represents doctors, also opposes the naming of providers of abortion services.
As currently drafted, the “Life Defense Act of 2012” also requires state health officials to release detailed information by county about the age, race and marital status of women who receive abortions. Information about the “gestational” age of the fetus would be disclosed as would information about a woman’s past pregnancies, abortions and educational attainment.
The names of women would not be made public under Hill’s bill, which came from Tennessee Right to Life.
But Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee officials and other critics say the release of localized demographic information could unintentionally lead to the identification of women in smaller, rural counties.
By Kristin Hall, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Since opening five years ago, the Tennessee Fusion Center has become the state’s centralized database for criminal information and records that aids analysts in discerning patterns in criminal activity throughout the state.
Fusion centers like the one in Tennessee were created after 9/11 to address gaps in communication about potential criminal and terrorist activity between law enforcement agencies on the local, state and national level.
Agents who oversee the center say the information they gather is leading to the prosecution of criminal gangs, the recovery of abducted and missing children and increased awareness of human trafficking in Tennessee.
Continue reading →
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The state of Tennessee is offering credit protection to nearly 2,000 employees who canceled their health or dental insurance after officials mailed out their personal information in October.
Each mailing included a certificate containing the information of the recipient and three other letters aimed at other members of the plan. State officials say 1,770 certificates were mailed to the wrong address.
Each included name, address, employee ID number, healthcare insurance coverage dates and Social Security number, which was not identified as such but appeared at the bottom of each certificate.
The state is offering affected employees a year’s credit protection through Lifelock free for one year. Each has been mailed a letter about the program and has until Dec. 28 to sign up.