The other shoe drops on Rogers, Goins ousters at Veterans Services

Veterans Services Commissioner Courtney Rogers attends the groundbreaking ceremony for the Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans’ Home on Aug. 21, 2019. (Image Credit: Tennessee Department of Veterans Services)

A state investigation into former Veterans Services Commissioner Courtney Rogers found the former Republican lawmaker had engaged in “frequent yelling and belittling employees, inappropriate comments made in public, and use of racial and homophobic stereotypes and slurs.”

Rogers and her deputy, former Rep. Tilman Goins, resigned late last month. Goins was alleged to have engaged in a romantic relationship with a subordinate at the agency.

On a visit to a military base, witnesses said Rogers described a specific race as “prostitutes who slept their way into the United States.” According to the investigation summary, Rogers “did not deny making the statement and did not recall in what context she would have made the comment.”

During a mediation at the department, Rogers is also alleged to have referred to the other party as “another black guy looking for a free ride.” She denied those comments, saying “she may have referred to the individual as ‘someone sticking it to the man.’”

Former Rep. Tilman Goins, the deputy commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services, speaks at a training conference on Nov. 18, 2019. (Image Credit: Tennessee Department of Veterans Services)

According a person who filed a complaint against Rogers, the commissioner yelled at her during a car ride in October 2019.

“I’m sick of your stupid mouth!” the staffer recalled Rogers shouting at her. “I’m going to quit and tell the governor it’s all your fault!”

Another person corroborated those events, but Rogers said she did not recall yelling.

31 Responses to The other shoe drops on Rogers, Goins ousters at Veterans Services

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    Beatrice Shaw says:

    wow the other reports were correct. A racist and a cheater. It does not say if the relationship was with another male or not, but once again, even if it was a female it has to bother his wife who obviously trusted him to take care of their family. This is VERY bad behavior indeed!!

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    Jason Wallflower says:

    And there it is. Hopefully these two never return to public life.

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    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Perhaps an administrative role was not the right fit for them both. I think the General Assembly was a good place for two stalwart conservatives like Courtney Rogers (ACU-88%) and Tilman Goins (ACU-93%) and hopefully will be a good place for them in the future.

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      Beatrice Shaw says:

      they are DIRTYYY!!!! Their families cannot trust them and neither can we

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        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        I don’t know what you mean by “DIRTYYY” Beatrice. You don’t become a Colonel in the Tennessee National Guard if you can’t get along with people. Courtney simply seems to be a strong outspoken woman of the type that I thought people like you, Beatrice, admire though I have to admit my personal history with that type of lady has not been a happy one. As for Goins, there is no indication that his amorous relationship with his subordinate was not consensual so I suppose that it was. Now I wouldn’t fix him up with any lady that I know but that has nothing to do with his ability to serve in the General Assembly where he has served with distinction, lets face it, ACU-93% legislators don’t grow on trees.

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          Paul says:

          Apparently 0% ethics legislators do grow on trees in the land of ACU ratings nirvana. Back in the days of John Ward and Bill Anderson on the Vol Network, there was a “tell” that gave away when a guy had minimal football skills. John would say “now taking the field, Billy Bob Jones from Somewhere, TN”. Bill’s response would be “he’s a fine young man and an outstanding competitor”. Translation: he’s probably a walk-on.

          Same deal here. Bill Lee: “We’re relieving these folks of duties since they are having affairs with their subordinate (Goins) and abuse their staff (Rogers)”. Stuart: “Hey they have a great ACU rating, fine folks and outstanding competitors! No big deal on being ethically challenged! And hey look what-about-all-those-horrible-liberals-ruining-everything-in-sight!”.

          Bill Lee has a history of shady behavior by his staff, so this is not surprising is the bottom line. It’s amusing all the suddenly poor memory involved here as well. I don’t know where these folks went to school or their work history, but speaking for the real world, if I had an affair with a subordinate or yelled at folks regularly and used racist language, I’d be fired. In conservative land, you get lauded for your “ACU rating” and promoted as a future upstanding conservative legislature member. Just the latest chapter in the TN conservative grift-o-rama drama. Next up: more obfuscation, misdirection, and false equivalencies! Stay tuned!

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            Jonathan Swift says:

            Stuart has shown over and over in his comments that he has no problem with morally bankrupt, sleazy, self-centered people as long as they hit the high numbers in his favorite rating system. I have no doubt what kind of person he is.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            I simply indicated that I would support Rogers and Goins if they wanted to go back to the General Assembly. I don’t know what warm and fuzzies you expect from those who you support for any legislature Jonathan, as for me all I want them to do is say “Yay” and “Nay” when the vote is held on legislation that reflects as closely as possible the way I would vote if I were in the legislature. I don’t find that standard particularly easy to satisfy so when I do find them, as I do in Rogers/Goins, I am very slow to toss them aside based on extraneous personality peccadilloes. To assume that I admire or possess those peccadilloes on the basis of my support for their holding public office doesn’t necessarily follow at all.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            BTW Paul, over in liberal land I don’t recall the natives were ready to string up ole’ Bill Clinton or too many Kennedy’s to name up over their frequent, and on occasion violent, “inappropriate” physical coupling with ladies who happen to find themselves in their orbit. Wasn’t it Teddy Kennedy and Chris Dodd who used to partake of some kind of “waitress sandwich” to the general merriment of all the inhabitants of liberal land.

            Please Paul, we want our guys to be running things, extra curricular activity and personality peccadilloes aside. Spare us the righteous indignation please.

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            Phillip Lassiter says:

            Don’t forget Joe Carr and his rapid exodus from employment. I wonder if he had a high ACU score,?

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            MARLE says:

            Stuart,

            At the time Kennedy had his inappropriate moments the same thing was happening in corporate America with little consequence meted out. NOW however, in corporate America, people get fired/jailed or severely sanctioned for indiscretions. Think: Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Weinstein, Lauer, Epstein. NOW however, it seems, you think politicians should not be held to any corresponding standard as long as the stock market goes up and we rake in dollars from Chinese tariffs (which consumers end up paying), and they have a high, albeit useless, heritage score.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Actually each voter should make that decision on a case by case basis MARLE. It just so happens that in this particular case I don’t think Rogers/Goins have done anything of sufficient gravity for us to be deprived of a continuation of their excellent service in the General Assembly should they so decide to go in that direction.

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            MARLE says:

            It seemed you were offering up the notion that If Kennedy was not held to account then the standard of ignoring this behavior had been set…in stone for all time. My point is that times have changed and when the norms by which we judge corporate behavior have changed there is no good reason to hold politicians behavior in abeyance.

            I get that you’d like to return to the good ole days but most Executives these days do not live as they did in the era of Mad Men and they don’t think their politicians should either.

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Phil, when speaking about anyone who served in a legislature you are quite right to question the Heritage/ACU score that marks their service. In the case of Joe Carr, his last year of service was 2014 and at the time the fledgling ACU ratings system was based on simply about ten votes with no lifetime ratings so it wasn’t a very good indication of a legislator’s service. Of course, we both know that when he decided to make that fabulous run against Lamar which I had the honor of funding with significant contributions Joe was THE conservative leader in the state house.

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      Jason Wallflower says:

      Stuart, these are provenly bad people. They got caught. They know it was bad. And they resigned in secret. They don’t need to be anywhere near power.

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        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        You are a much tougher grader of people than am I. Again, no one becomes a Colonel in the National Guard without being able to lead and manage people. At the very worst, Courtney has shown herself to be a bit tone deaf as to the things that can and cannot be said in public in today’s hyper sensitive society. That doesn’t make her a bad person. Tillman had what apparently was a consensual affair with a subordinate. That doesn’t make him a bad person.

        What we are talking about are bad acts that perfectly fine people have a habit of committing from time to time. The acts should be condemned, the individuals should be appropriately sanctioned, they should then be told to go and sin no more. Indeed, as I suggested, go back to the General Assembly.

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          Jason Wallflower says:

          Whew. Ok, Stuart. You can go your way. It’s just not the right way.

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          Taxpayer #314 says:

          Just like “No one becomes president of the United States of America without being able to lead and manage people.” Trump sure proved that wrong!

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      Taxpayer #314 says:

      Not the right fit? What does that mean? Sleazy and unethical behavior is OK as long as these good ole “conservatives” have one of those high “Buddy” numbers? More Republican nonsense.

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    Perry Aubric says:

    There are plenty of honest, decent people who can do these jobs. No need to blindly support someone unethical or dishonest. Someone with the same political views can replace them, without having to be so scummy.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      If someone with impeccable conservative credentials like Rogers and Goins comes along who has a more winning personality or better personal history by all means let’s choose them. What I simply don’t want to do is to pass judgement on these two conservative stalwarts like Jason did so as to banish them from public life.

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        Jason Wallflower says:

        One is a racist. The other is an adulterer. The report says so. Their resignations confirm it.

        You are quick to “pass judgement” on anyone that is not from the weirdo fringe wing of the GOP, but always readily available to stick up for Casada, Rogers, Goins, J. Sexton, R. Smith, Matheny, Durham, and the rest of the corrupt crew.

        For God’s sake, let’s not stand with upstanding members of society like Governor Haslam.

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          We don’t know the facts and circumstances that were turned up the investigation other than the rationale that was given for the conclusion that they should be asked for their resignation. I therefore have no opinion as to whether they should or shouldn’t be asked to resign.

          What I do know is that Rogers/Goins were fine conservative members of the General Assembly, ideologically precisely the type of individuals I want to see hold public office and dominate the Republican Party. Haslam, of course, is a centrist/tepid conservative who may brush after every meal, be kind to animals, and is a fine family man, but he is part of the cohort in the Republican Party that simply want to be shills of the Chamber of Commerce and do whatever is necessary to make the trains run on time. Sorry, not nearly good enough.

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        Phillip Lassiter says:

        Too late. They are not eligible fir rehire and are unelectable. Hopefully their spouses make six figures or they are toast

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        MARLE says:

        Corporate executives are not excused from the consequences of bad behavior simply b/c the stock price or EBITDA soared. Why should a good heritage score do more for a politician than performance does for an executive?

        Mercifully, there are executives who know how to deliver performance while behaving in an honorable way. Politicians will just have to get with the program b/c voters who ONLY care about heritage scores are a dying breed. You can have both.

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      Jason Wallflower says:

      Yes. Correct.

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    Cannoneer2 says:

    As long as that ACU score is high…. nothing to worry about.

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    David Collins says:

    Hey guys, you have to cut Stuart some slack. After all, his president (he admits voting for Trump twice) says it’s alright to grab a woman by the “p—y”. With an example like that, how can you possibly ask him to condemn a little screwing around and displays of temper tantrums? He is correct on one thing, doing what they were apparently doing at work in the general assembly will be considered “normal legislative behavior.”

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    That is why Trump was voted out of office this time around – he is by far the MOST DISHONEST PRESIDENT this country has ever had. He and his mob family have broken every norm and all of them have repeatedly used (abused) their positions for personal gains. When you have crap like that at the top the rest on down the line will perform likewise.

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