State Representative Candidate Claims TBI Home Raid Was Politically Motivated

The townhome of Jeremy H. G. Hayes, candidate for State Representative for the 57th District, a seat currently held by Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet), was raided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) on Tuesday morning, a move the candidate says was politically motivated.

Four TBI agents came with a warrant to search his townhome, reportedly telling Hayes they have “Reason to believe you voted out of district in the last primary.” Simultaneously and without a warrant, three additional agents went to the home of Hayes’ grandmother, where Hayes tells The Tennessee Star he stays four to five nights a week to care for the 78-year old who suffers from multiple sclerosis and stage IV kidney failure.

Lynn’s claim that Hayes, one of her challengers in the August Republican primary, lives out of the district has been going on for the better part of a year. She told The Star back in March 2017 about Hayes, “he doesn’t live in Wilson County nor in my district.”

Hayes provided a digital photograph of his State of Tennessee driver’s license to The Star that shows an issue date of April 2017 and an expiration of April 2025, with a Mt. Juliet address, information that should have been available to the TBI.

While a case such as this wouldn’t normally go public, Hayes told The Star, “People need to know about this.” And, as he posted on Facebook, “I will NOT stay silent when our state agencies are being used to bully our campaign for political purposes!”

Hayes expressed concern that this could happen to anyone and is not a left, right, conservative or liberal issue, but should alarm everyone.

The warrant authorized a search of his townhome as well as tapping into his phone and internet, and according to Hayes, was obtained because opponent Susan Lynn is a personal friend of District Attorney General Tommy Thompson.

Hayes said the search of the townhome lasted about two and half hours, during which agents looked through closets and cabinets and seized some paperwork and checkbooks.

Meanwhile, three other agents spent about four hours at the home of Hayes’ grandmother, and in the absence of a warrant, tried to intimidate her into letting them search the home. When Hayes arrived he asked if they had a warrant, which infuriated them, according to Hayes.  He then called an attorney who advised him that the TBI agents be directed by his grandmother to leave the house.

TBI spokesperson Susan Niland confirmed in a statement released to News Channel 5, “TBI Special Agents are investigating allegations that Jeremy Hayes resides outside of the district for which he is running for office, and that he cast a ballot in a district in which he does not reside.”

It was also reported by news Channel 5 that Rep. Lynn “confirmed that she did contact the Tennessee Coordinator of Elections to report Hayes.”

Current Republican gubernatorial candidate and former State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) told The Star on Wednesday this is an old Democrat trick that was played on her as well back in 2002 when she filed to run in Wilson County and was investigated by Tommy Thompson.

Beavers was subsequently cleared by a district attorney in another county.

The opinion on the matter, according to Beavers, is that the law is not clear on the issue, in that “your residency is wherever you say it is, regardless of where you lay your head at night.”

The same technique of challenging residency was used against James Peach when he ran for the legislature in 1992. Beavers had firsthand experience with that unsuccessful case as well, because she was hired as the court reporter.

Tuesday, the day of the raid on Hayes, marked the 11-month celebration of his daughter’s birth and, ironically, the five-year anniversary of a Facebook post by Hayes quoting Thomas Jefferson, “When people fear the government there is tyranny.”

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6 Thoughts to “State Representative Candidate Claims TBI Home Raid Was Politically Motivated”

  1. Sandi Pratt

    I don’t recall reading anything like this happening to State Rep Bill Beck when it was shown that the realtor actually lives in Hendersonville (Sumner county) rather than the Inglewood district (Davidson county) he represents. Whatever became of that story?

  2. Papa

    This is part of a much larger picture. There needs to be an investigation into who ordered the searches.

  3. Randall

    Having the police execute a search warrant on your home, allegations of sexual misconduct… just tools of the trade for the Dems to destroy their opponents. The Dems are EVIL !

  4. Susan E Gingrich

    As someone fairly new to TN politics, I am shocked by the behavior of TN politicians, especially the establishment republicans. Crooked and corrupt is how I describe them. Just hope it isn’t too late to reach apathetic voters and non-voters, disillusioned because of the tax increase passed last year which Susan Lynn and too many others gave all of us. From all I’ve heard about Wilson County, sure am glad I don’t live there. Hang in there Jeremy and other genuine conservatives involved in similar battles!

  5. N.B.

    This is a shameful (and maybe even criminal?) use of TBI resources. I’m all for following the laws regarding residency or whatever — if the law is clear. As has been pointed out by others, the law on residency in Tennessee is unclear, leaving it to the individual to simply declare their place of residence, which Jeremy H.G. Hayes had done about a year ago when he changed his driver’s license. This whole issue should have been resolved by the TBI with a simple driver’s license check. If Susan Lynn thought that this was a real issue, she should have just simply raised it in the campaign and let the people decide, not weaponize the District Attorney and the TBI against her opponent. This feels like an act of desperation, not a search for the truth.

  6. John J.

    Just a couple of points. First, this seems like a “fishing expedition” ! Why would the TBI “seize” checkbooks? How exactly does a checkbook indicate where a person lives? Seems like intimidation, pure and simple.

    Secondly, with all the issues that this Country and State has with voting security and integrity, is this the best use of 7 TBI agents time? Maybe someone should ask the TBI how many investigations are on going regarding illegal aliens voting?, or getting “free” stuff from us? etc, etc.

    No, this is right out of the Clinton/Obama/Putin playbook, weaponize government and use it against your opponents. And wasn’t it Rep. Lynn that threw a tantrum at the Wilson County Fair Republican Party table because her campaign material wasn’t first in line? Sounds like she is perhaps a bit “unstable”. Is she the kind of person we want making new laws?