By BROOKE WANSER
Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed David B. Rausch, the former chief of police in Knoxville, as the new director to lead the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, according to a department media release this week.
Rausch will officially assume the position on Monday, June 25.
The department is also investigating Jason Locke, the interim bureau leader, for misuse of government funds after his wife alleged that he used state money to fund his affair with another woman.
Haslam’s press secretary Jennifer Donnals, confirmed that Haslam received emails from Kim Locke on Friday, and that Haslam had asked the Department of Safety to follow up on the allegations.
Donnals also referred questions about the potential misuse of state funds to the auditors in the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.
Effective Wednesday, June 20, Locke will be placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation, the bureau confirmed.
Locke, previously the deputy director of the organization before Mark Gwyn stepped down, was one of the final three nominees for the position.
Locke raised red flags in the media after a recent NewsChannel5 investigation revealed questionable hiring decisions within the TBI, including the hiring of Locke’s son, Hunter Locke, before his graduation from college and with no law enforcement experience.
Rausch, 55, was formerly the chief of police with the Knoxville Police Department since 2011, after joining the department in 1993.
“David brings a wealth of experience to the TBI and the proven leadership to continue the great progress the agency has made in making Tennessee safer. As police chief in Knoxville, he took on both urban and rural public safety issues and collaborated with local, state and federal partners to help address some of the region’s most pressing crimes, such as gang activity and human trafficking,” Haslam said in the release.
Rausch is a U.S. Army veteran after serving in the Military Police Corps from 1986-1990, according to the release. He holds a master of science degree in justice administration and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Louisville.
“I am honored and humbled the governor has selected me for this position,” Rausch said in the release. “The TBI is an excellent organization with amazing employees dedicated to serving the great state of Tennessee. I look forward to working alongside them to lead the agency into the next chapter and am excited to bring my vision and energy to serve in this capacity,” he finished.