After my post of December 30, 2010, many people asked me to post the actual letter from DA Steve Bebb to Criminal Court Judge John Dugger that was mentioned. Some people claimed it didn't exist. Some said that David Purkey would never lie to the "news"paper or to the public about anything. Others said if this was really true, the "news"paper would have reported it.
Well, the letter is posted above. You can click on the image to enlarge it and read it or print it out.
What brought about the TBI investigation and the DA's letter was a 2006 election-eve Purkey campaign postcard that said it was "paid for by John R. Jones" but did not mention Purkey's involvement with the postcard.
DA Bebb's letter states that the TBI investigation of former Hamblen County Mayor David Purkey found that Purkey apparently violated the election laws of the State of Tennessee. Bebb then adds that he won't charge or prosecute Purkey because it might be costly and it might be difficult to seat a jury in Hamblen County--assuming Purkey would ask for a jury trial.
The postcard that the TBI investigated was a last-minute mailout by the Purkey campaign that did not acknowledge that Purkey was involved in the mailout or endorsed the message on the postcard. For his part, Purkey, when questioned about the postcard by local "news"paper reporter Bob Moore, denied any involvement in the mailing. [See newspaper article below and click on it to enlarge and read Purkey's comments at the end]
Despite Purkey's very public denial of any involvement with the postcard, the TBI investigation found that Purkey was indeed involved and thus committed a Class "C" misdemeanor. Strangely, the DA stated nothing about the involvement of a friend of Purkey--John R. Jones, a Tennessee State Trooper. No mention of John R. Jones and no charges against John R. Jones.
Kind of funny how the local "news"paper reports a public official's denial of any involvement with a campaign postcard that was received by many people across the county but the same "news"paper never follows up and reports that a TBI investigation found that the official WAS involved with the postcard but the DA decided to give Purkey a "pass"!
In my December 30 post, I mentioned that the person whose name was put on the postcard (John R. Jones) happens to be a "special friend" of Purkey. While the DA didn't mention Jones in the letter to Judge Dugger, the THP investigated Jones' involvement and issued a written reprimand to Jones. [Click on the reprimand above]
So...the "news"paper refused to report that DA Bebb sent a letter to Judge Dugger stating that Purkey apparently committed a crime. The "news"paper refused to report that DA Bebb was not prosecuting Purkey because of Purkey's position, the difficulty in seating a jury, and to save money. The"news"paper refused to report that the person whose name was put on the Purkey postcard was Purkey's special friend Tennessee Highway Patrolman John R. Jones.
The "news"paper did report Purkey's denial of any involvement in the last-minute postcard. Then silence. Apparently, it is "news" when the official says he isn't involved in the crime. But it isn't "news"---and it isn't reported at all---when the TBI investigation is over and it is discovered that the official was lying and covering up his involvement all along.
And now David Purkey, who violated election laws, who lied to the press and public to cover up his involvement in violating election laws, and who got a "pass" from the District Attorney, is Assistant Commissioner of Homeland Security for the State of Tennessee.
Purkey's official crime was a misdemeanor. The unofficial crime was that he lied to the press--and to the public--when he denied his involvement with his campaign postcard and even failed to admit that he knew the John R. Jones whose name was listed on the postcard.
And the cover-up continued as the investigation was ongoing. After he was caught in the violation of election law and after he had lied about his involvement with the campaign postcard, Purkey filled out a campaign financial disclosure form that said that [John] Rick Jones of Murfreesboro made a "loan" of $850 to Purkey's mayoral campaign on October 23, 2006. Now there may be a check to the Purkey campaign from John Rick(y) Jones in October 2006 but you have to ask WHY would Jones be sending a check to Purkey's mayoral campaign over two months AFTER the postcard mailout and over two months AFTER the election? Purkey didn't need any loan AFTER the election was over.
One reason Purkey may have reported the "loan" from Jones would be to avoid financial disclosure problems that could occur if he didn't report Jones' postcard/loan to the campaign. Click on the Financial Disclosure form below to enlarge.