published Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Former FBI task force leader Ken Hillman suspended

An embattled FBI agent whose actions may have jeopardized a series of child sex sting cases has been suspended.

Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin said Tuesday afternoon that he received a phone call informing him that FBI officials suspended Special Agent Ken Hillman on Friday. Franklin would not say who told him about the suspension.

Asked about Hillman’s status with the bureau Tuesday, FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett declined to comment.

Hillman was the head of the Northwest Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a group of law enforcement officers who chatted undercover on websites like Craigslist. The officers were supposed to identify people who were interested in having sex with children.

But since February 2013, Hillman has faced a number of allegations — allegations that could cost him his job, and allegations that could ruin the prosecution of several pending task force cases.

Ten Catoosa County and Dade County cases have been on hold for about a year as defense attorneys and prosecutors wait for the FBI to finish its investigation into Hillman.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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