Tennessee Bureau of Investigation chief Mark Gwyn stepping down in June

NASHVILLE - Saying it's the "right time" for both himself and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, longtime agency Director Mark Gwyn on Thursday announced he plans to retire June 1.

Gwyn's announcement comes weeks after a state comptroller's report showed the TBI used agency reserves to stave off cuts over a four-year period in the state's top law enforcement agency and only a day after the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in a Chattanooga case that a multimillion-dollar fee system on DUI testing was unconstitutional.

The director began informing top state officials of his decision Wednesday afternoon and announced it to employees early Thursday.

"I've been in law enforcement for over 30 years and have lovingly served as your director for 14 years, however, the time has come for me to retire," Gwyn said in his announcement. " I have prayed and thought about this decision for some time now and I believe this is the right time for me and for the Bureau.

"During my tenure, I believe I have done all that I can do to improve our resources, training and equipment for the Bureau family and along with your hard work, TBI has become the best state law enforcement agency in this state and this country. We have come a very long way and I am honored to have served in this capacity for so long."

The director said "I hope I have left, in part, a legacy that reflects the integrity, leadership and compassion that touches every facet of this agency. It was my goal to leave the Bureau better than it was when it was given to me."

Gwyn said he intends to remain TBI director until June 1, allowing a special commission that recommends the agency's directors to search for his successor.

Contact Andy Sher at asher@timesfreepress.com or 615-255-0550.