published Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Ex-Democratic chair files ethics complaints against Haslam

Gov. Bill Haslam answers a question during a news conference in this file photo.
Gov. Bill Haslam answers a question during a news conference in this file photo.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE — Former state Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester filed complaints with two state agencies Thursday alleging that Gov. Bill Haslam has violated state law by refusing to disclose the personal payments he made to Tom Ingram for political consulting.

“Gov. Bill Haslam is hiding the truth from Tennesseans just like he’s hiding his tax returns,” said Forrester at a news conference announcing the complaints — one filed with the Tennessee Ethics Commission, which enforces lobbyist-related laws; the other with the Registry of Election Finance, which enforces campaign finance laws.

Both cite Haslam’s acknowledgment that he paid Ingram, a veteran political operative and lobbyist, out of his own pocket for consulting during 2011 and until July 1 of this year. At that time, the governor’s office says Ingram began receiving payments of $5,000 per month from Haslam’s 2014 re-election campaign in lieu of the undisclosed private payments.


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