published Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Tennessee House panel votes to recommend charges, removal for Steve Bebb

Steve Bebb
Steve Bebb

HOUSE PANEL MEMBERS

Rep. Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport

Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah

Rep. William Lamberth, R-Cottontown

Rep. John DeBerry Jr., D-Memphis

Rep. G.A. Hardaway, D-Memphis

Rep. Karen D. Camper, D-Memphis

SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

Chairman Brian Kelsey, R-Collierville

1st Vice Chairman Doug Overbey, R-Maryville

2nd Vice Chairman Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville

Mike Bell, R-Riceville (recused self from probe)

Lowe Finney, D-Jackson

Ophelia Ford, D-Memphis

Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga

Mark Green, R-Clarksville

John Stevens, R-Huntingdon

A state House investigative panel said today there is enough evidence against 10th Judicial District Attorney Steve Bebb to try to remove him from office.

The special judicial oversight committee will recommend that House Speaker Beth Harwell appoint a separate committee to come up with specific charges warranting removal when the Tennessee General Assembly convenes in January, said Rep. Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport.

“There were 15 items considered, and those will be provided to the charging committee” should Harwell choose to appoint one, said Shipley, chairman of the special investigative panel appointed during the session earlier this year.

Harwell, a Nashville Republican, could not be reached for comment. Bebb did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A separate Senate committee also is considering evidence developed from a Time Free Press investigation published one year ago and a subsequent investigation ordered by Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper Jr. The four-month investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the state Comptroller’s Office found that Bebb was a poor manager and record-keeper but did not find any prosecutable violations.

Shipley said the House panel agreed there were no currently prosecutable violations, but said there was a “texture” of misconduct and that the investigation is continuing.

“Our whole object is to make sure the people of the state of Tennessee get a fair shake in their legal system and that’s exactly what this is about,” he said.

See Thursday’s Times Free Press for complete coverage.

about Judy Walton...

Judy Walton has worked 25 years at the Chattanooga Times and the Times Free Press as an editor and reporter focusing on government coverage and investigations. At various times she has been an assistant metro editor, region reporter and editor, county government reporter, government-beat team leader, features editor and page designer. Originally from California, Walton was brought up in a military family and attended a dozen schools across the country. She earned a journalism degree ...

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