Thursday, December 30, 2010

December 30, 2010 David Purkey Named Assistant Commissioner for Homeland Security

Former Hamblen County Mayor David Purkey has been named Assistant Commissioner for Homeland Security by Governor-elect Bill Haslam. Click here.

In 2008, David pretty much left his job as Hamblen County Mayor to Commision Chair Stancil Ford and started campaigning for Haslam.  David hoped to be Commissioner of Safety in Haslam's administration. 

Haslam, however, tapped Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons for that position.  With Purkey's appointment as Deputy Commissioner for Homeland Security, Purkey will have large amounts of taxpayer Homeland Security money at his disposal and wide access to personal information on citizens.

Hopefully, Gibbons and Haslam can keep David from putting the Homeland Security budget in the red like he put Hamblen County in the red in 2003 after 8 years as Mayor. For his multiple violations of law and general mishandling of county finances and driving the county to the brink of bankruptcy in 2003, click here, here, here, and here. Every single statement has been documented, and David has never attempted to refute any of the statements about his mishandling of county finances or putting a special friend on the county insurance plan even though he was not a county employee and not eligible for coverage.

Hopefully, Gibbons and Haslam can keep David from running around and ordering expensive shows of overwhelming force to shut down anti-illegal immigration rallies. For his use of Homeland Security, THP, and local enforcement in shutting down an anti-illegal immigration rally, click here and here.

Hopefully, Gibbons and Haslam can keep David from using Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers to assist him in violating election laws as David did in his 2006 run for County Mayor. 

And, hopefully, Gibbons and Haslam can keep David from lying about his illegal actions when he gets caught violating laws or obtaining and using personal information to get political opponents directly or through their families. 

He's out of Morristown/Hamblen County for now, but his use of state law enforcement and Homeland Security resources to stop an anti-illegal immigration rally in 2006, his bankrupting of the county in 2003, his accomplishment in having more audit findings than any other county in the state, his use of a Highway Patrol Trooper in 2006 to violate criminal election laws, his lying to a compliant press about his violation of criminal election laws in 2006, and his being given a pass by a district attorney for his criminal violations is a lasting, pitiful legacy to a man who plans to lead "Homeland Security" in Tennessee.

For someone who is going to be in a sensitive law enforcement position, the real kicker is Purkey's "use" of law enforcement trooper friends to violate election laws in 2006 followed by Purkey's blatant cover-up of his involvement in those violations by publicly denying any knowledge or involvement with an Election Eve postcard mailout in 2006-- a public statement that was later found to be false.

The "news"paper reported on the Election Eve postcard and published Purkey's strong denial of any involvement. The "news"paper also noted that an investigation had been ordered. Then there was total silence.

When the investigating District Attorney's letter/report was sent to Judge John Dugger in May 2007 stating that David was "apparently" involved in criminal election law violations related to the Election Eve postcard, the local "news"paper reporter (Bob Moore) ignored it.  Why? The initial story was reported. Why no concluding story?

The local "news"paper reporter also ignored the fact that David had lied to Moore in 2006 when David denied any involvement or knowledge about the Election Eve postcard mailout, a postcard that said it was paid for by a John R. Jones, who, as it turned out, was David's special Highway Patrol law enforcement friend. Why? The initial statement was reported? Why no follow-up at the conclusion of the investigation?

[The District Attorney's letter/report referenced a TBI investigation and the fact that David Purkey apparently violated criminal election laws. The DA then refused to prosecute. Why? Because Purkey might demand a jury trial and this would cost some money and, heck, it might be difficult to seat a jury in Hamblen County! 

Preliminary TBI reports gave the DA an early indication as to where the investigation was headed and the parties that were involved --David Purkey and his special friend Trooper John R. Jones.  If the DA was going to give David and his law enforcement friend John R. Jones a pass even though all the evidence, interviews, and witnesses pointed one way, he should have stopped the investigation at the start and saved the money for prosecution of some little unknown person somewhere where seating a jury would be "easy."]

Many things can seem trivial when viewed in isolation.  It's surprising that Haslam could not or did not attempt to find someone for this sensitive position who had not used law enforcement friends to help him break the law and had not then publicly lied about it.

It is David Purkey's use of law enforcement friends to assist him in breaking the law followed by his public lies to cover-up his actions and those of his THP law enforcement friends that make his selection for a sensitive position as Deputy Commissioner for Homeland Security singularly standout.

He used a Tennessee Highway Patrolmen in an election campaign in violation of criminal election laws and lied about it.  What could he do or attempt to do to political opponents, their families, and their friends with his power as Deputy Commissioner of Homeland Security?  Who watches the watchers?

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