NASHVILLE - The Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon approved a resolution directing the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to give panel members access to files of the agency's probe of 10th District Attorney Steve Bebb of Cleveland.
Seven members, including Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, voted in favor of the resolution. Two members, Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, and Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Lowe Finney of Jackson abstained.
The effort to obtain the TBI's investigation of Bebb comes after Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper late last month released his long-awaited report on Bebb and alleged misconduct in the 10th Judicial District.
In his report, Cooper criticized Bebb's office for poor judgment, mismanagement and deficient record keeping but said he found no prosecutable evidence against him on allegations of prosecutorial and financial misconduct, speaking untruthfully under oath and other offenses.
"This is not an issue I take up lightly," Judiciary Committee Chairman Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, told colleagues. "It is not an issue that is meant to reveal information that is confidential. But it is a serious issue and it's important for the Judiciary Committee to exercise its oversight ability."