Tag Archives: raid

Governor: I Know Nothing About Pilot Raid, But Trust My Brother

Gov. Bill Haslam said he knows little about a raid on Pilot Flying J headquarters in Knoxville and has “faith and confidence” in his brother’s ability to deal with the situation as CEO of the company.
In a brief meeting with reporters, the governor said there was “gossip and speculation” about the raid that is unfounded and unfair and “it’s not fair for me to play that game.”
“The truth is, I don’t know,” said Haslam.
He was asked, for example, about speculation that the raid could have been retaliation for his recent decision against expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act and rejected the notion.
“Absolutely not,” he said.
When he became governor in January, 2011, Haslam put all this financial assets in a blind trust – except for his Pilot holdings. The governor said he has no role in managing the company, though he retains a substantial but undisclosed financial interest.
Haslam said he is leaving management to his brother, CEO Jimmy Haslam, and “I have faith and confidence in him.” In fact, the governor said he is not trying to learn any details of what happened and why.
“It’s not my job,” he said. “I’ve got a full-time job.”

FBI, IRS Raid Pilot Flying J Headquarters (AP story)

By Steve Megaree, Associated Press
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents on Monday locked down the headquarters of Pilot Flying J, the truck stop business owned by the family of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and his brother, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.
FBI spokesman Marshall Stone told The Associated Press that the move was part of an ongoing investigation, but he would not provide additional details. FBI and IRS agents were expected to remain in the building into the evening, he said.
The FBI was keeping all traffic away from the company property, and Knoxville police patrol cars and officers could be seen outside the headquarters.
“Any details that would be released to the public would not be available for some time,” Stone said.
The company doesn’t know why FBI officials closed the headquarters but is cooperating with authorities, spokeswoman Lauren Christ said in a statement. Pilot Flying J retail operations remain open, she said.

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Cooper, Ramsey Play Same Tune in Guitar Raid Blues (though Ramsey a little louder)

Congressman Jim Cooper joined the defenders of Nashville-based Gibson Guitar Corp. Monday, saying the law that makes certain imports of wood illegal is “way too broad,” reports The City Paper.
Also Monday, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey called the federal raids of the guitar maker “downright scary” and “abhorrent.” In a commentary on his Facebook page, which he titled “The Criminalization of Free Enterprise,”
Ramsey suggested the Obama administration might have targeted Gibson because its chief executive officer, Henry Juszkiewicz, has made donations to Republicans.
“In fact, the only beef the Obama administration could really have with Gibson Guitars is the political habits of its CEO,” Ramsey wrote, adding: “I hope this is simple coincidence and not something more sinister.”
Federal agents raided Gibson factories in 2009 and again on Aug. 24, confiscating guitars and wood. The Justice Department is pursuing a possible criminal case against Gibson for importing ebony from Madagascar for guitar fingerboards.
Cooper said his office is looking into how to tighten the law that investigators are trying to use against Gibson.

More? See also Nashville Business Journal, and WPLN. Link to Ramsey’s facebook commentary HERE.
And Stacey Campfield has a solution: Passage of his bill requiring federal agents to get local permission before staging a raid in Tennessee.

TBI Raids Millington City Offices

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Shelby County District Attorney’s office investigators are raiding city offices in Millington.
District attorney spokesman Vince Higgins said the officers were serving warrants Wednesday morning after an investigation into a complaint of official misconduct.
Higgins said the complaint was made with the district attorney’s office last December and centered on activities in Millington. He declined to elaborate on what type of misconduct was involved or to say exactly who was being served with the warrants.
Higgins said the warrants were being served at several locations in Shelby County.