boards and commissions

Casada retains appointment power until resignation

Among the panels up for new appointments is the nine-member Lottery Corporation Sports Wagering Advisory Council, which was created under a law passed this session and allowed to go into force without Gov. Bill Lee’s signature. The governor and the House and Senate speakers each get three appointments to the panel.

Among the potential Republican candidate to succeed Casada, three voted for sports gambling bill (Reps. Curtis Johnson, Cameron Sexton, and Robin Smith), while four voted against (Reps. Mike Carter, Bill Dunn, Matthew Hill, and Jerry Sexton.)

Senate Speaker Randy McNally also voted against the sports gambling bill.

Another panel is the reconstituted 16-member Board of Judicial Conduct. Casada gets four appointments on the panel, one of whom must be an an attorney and three others who cannot be an attorney or a current or former judge.

“I find it just shocking that the disgraced House speaker gets to name anybody to a sports gambling commission and a judicial oversight panel,” said former Knoxville mayor Victor Ashe, a former Republican state senator and onetime U.S. ambassador to Poland.  “I would think the Republican majority would want to prevent that from happening.”

Scott Gilmer, who took over as chief of staff to the speaker following the resignation of Cade Cothren as Casada’s chief aide, told the paper the appointments need to made soon.

“Members of the gaming commission need to undergo a background check and that would take some work there,” he said.

Other boards, commissions, and councils with upcoming vacancies include the TennCare Pharmacy Advisory Committee, Advisory Council on State Procurement, the State Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission, the Commission on Aging and Disability, and Energy Efficient Schools Council. The House speaker has the power to fill two positions on each panel.

“My guess is I don’t think the speaker will fill most of these,” Gilmer said. “Probably most of these we’ll leave to the next person. But if there’s some more pressing ones like the Board of Judicial Conduct and the gaming commission, I think he could appoint those. But we haven’t yet.”

Lawsuit challenges TN law requiring barbers to have high school diploma

Press release from Beacon Center of Tennessee

NASHVILLE –  The Beacon Center recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of aspiring Memphis barber Elias Zarate based on the unconstitutional law that requires barbers to have a high school degree as a prerequisite to getting a barber’s license. The Beacon Center has filed suit against the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barbers Examiners and its members in order to eliminate this unfair regulation.

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Columnist Victor Ashe sees some irony in Haslam hosting farewell dinner for outgoing UT trustees

Gov. and Mrs. Bill Haslam, along with Raja and Michelle Jubran, will host a farewell dinner at Cherokee Country Club for the outgoing UT board of trustees on June 21, according to Victor Ashe’s latest column. He sees some irony in the event.

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Parole board splits on whether Haslam should grant clemency to Cyntoia Brown

The state Board of Paroles split three ways Wednesday in a voting on whether to recommend that Gov. Bill Haslam grant some form of clemency Cyntoia Brown, a Nashville woman serving a life sentence for a murder she committed in 2004 at age 16, reports The Tennessean. The upshot is no clear suggestion to Haslam, who has said he’s aware of the case that has received national attention while giving indication of his inclinations.

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‘Humiliating’ treatment of only woman interviewed for TBI director draws protests

Leaders of some women’s groups are protesting the treatment of Marjorie Quin – the only woman considered for nomination as new director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation – when she was interviewed by the TBI Nominating Commission, according to Nashville news media. Quin is a retired TBI agent who specialized in handling sex trafficking cases.

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Three finalists nominated as new TBI director

A nominating commission Tuesday chose three finalists for appointment as new director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation – former Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble, current TBI Deputy Director Jason Locke and Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch. Gov. Bill Haslam can now chose the new director from the list submitted by the TBI Nominating Commission.

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Human Resource Agency’s executive director fired for alleged misconduct (including use of agency van to attend GOP fundraiser)

The executive director of the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency, headquartered in Cookeville,  was fired Wednesday by a 14-12 vote of the organization’s board of directors, reports WSMV TV. The vote came after a closed-door meeting for a briefing on allegations against Luke Collings by the board’s attorney. A state comptroller’s audit is also underway.

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Legislature approves seven Haslam UT board appointments, including two last-minute nominees

The Tennessee General Assembly Tuesday evening approved seven of Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed appointments to the University of Tennessee’s new board of trustees, reports the Times Free Press. That includes two new nominees submitted by the governor and rushed through the confirmation process as replacements to nominees spurned in the Senate earlier.

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List for appointment as new TBI director narrowed to ten

About 45 people submitted applications to become the next director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation after current Director Mark Gwyn retires, reports WTVF. The TBI Nominating Commission cut the list down to ten persons on Wednesday. The ten will all be interviewed at a public meeting by the panel May 15 before it submits three final nominees to Gov. Bill Haslam, who will then appoint one.

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Senate panel spurns four more Haslam nominees to UT Board of Trustees

Four of Gov. Bill Haslam’s 10 nominees to a new University of Tennessee Board of Trustees were effectively rejected by the Senate Education Committee Thursday – a day after another, current board Vice Chairman Raja Jubran, withdrew amid criticism from legislators. That leaves just five of the governor’s 10 appointees up for approval on floor votes.

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