Mark Gwyn announced in a department-wide memo Thursday that after 30 years in law enforcement – the last 14 of which were as the Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), he will step down, effective June 1st.
A copy of the letter was posted at the TBI website and reads:
M E M O R A N D U M
TO: All TBI Employees
FROM: Mark Gwyn, Director
DATE: February 8, 2018
SUBJECT: Retirement Announcement
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. 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. 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.
I will remain as TBI Director until June 1, 2018. During that time, the selection process will begin for my successor. Please continue your dedication and remain diligent to succeed in our mission of “That Guilt Shall Not Escape, Nor Innocence Suffer.”
NewsChannel5 reports the agency had come under fire recently as an audit brought to light questions about the fiscal management of the bureau, as well as its hiring practices seeming to favor familial relatives and concerns that Gwyn had “ignored a state law that stated that veterans will be given preference in hiring.”
Perhaps most alarmingly, the TBI chief had to answer tough questions about an early-morning raid on the household of candidate Jeremy Hayes, whose address of residence was challenged.
Regardless, Governor Bill Haslam acknowleged Gwyn’s announcement with a statement of well-wishes:
Mark Gwyn has dedicated his career to law enforcement & TN is safer because of his service. The TBI became a more proactive agency under his leadership. I'm grateful for his commitment to lead the fight against human trafficking & gang violence. I wish him the best in retirement.
— Gov. Bill Haslam (@BillHaslam) February 8, 2018
Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally followed suit, tweeting:
Mark Gywn has served the state and the TBI with great distinction. His retirement is well-deserved. I appreciate his service and wish him much success in his future endeavors. https://t.co/rCjkQX19LG
— Randy McNally (@ltgovmcnally) February 8, 2018