NASHVILLE -- A suspicious substance included in a letter sent to House Speaker Beth Harwell's office is not dangerous, officials said this afternoon.
The substance's discovery by a Harwell staffer prompted officials to block access to Legislative Plaza, although the building was not evacuated.
"Earlier today, my office received an envelope with a suspicious substance, and law enforcement was alerted," Harwell said in a statement, noting she had not been in the office herself.
Two staffers were in the office.
"The material was deemed not hazardous, and we have received the ‘all clear,'" Harwell said. "We sincerely appreciate the actions of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Metro Police Department, the Metro Fire Department, Homeland Security, the FBI, TBI, Metro Hazardous Materials Unit, and TEMA for taking swift and appropriate action to ensure our employees and the public are safe.”
The Legislative Plaza houses the offices of many state legislators, including legislative leaders like Harwell. It also includes committee hearing rooms. The Legislature concluded its annual session in April.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...