Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Employee Reportedly Removed for Misconduct

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Officials with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation reportedly removed a deputy commissioner this week after investigating alleged workplace misconduct, according to the Nashville-based WSMV.

That now former deputy commissioner, Brock Hill, was a political appointee under former Republican Gov. Bill Haslam. Hill oversaw Tennessee’s 56 state parks and 85 state natural areas. Hill was also the Cumberland County mayor for 16 years, according to The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Neither WSMV nor The Times Free Press elaborated as to why officials removed Hill.

Anne Marshall will serve as interim Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Conservation, WSMV reported.

This is not the first time people have accused TDEC officials of misconduct on the job.

As the Nashville-based FOX 17 and Tennessee Watchdog reported in 2014, then-TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau chartered a plane to Athens to give a brief speech. But to travel there in a vehicle would take no more than three hours. That flight cost taxpayers $1,517 dollars.

Also as Tennessee Watchdog reported that year, one of TDEC’s deputy directors, Britton Dotson, scolded water quality inspectors in an email for supposedly not paying attention to their jobs.

“There are a number of staff that can’t get everything done that they are expected to get done and are stressed out about it,” Dotson wrote.

“There are also a number of staff that seem to spend as much time on the internet, reading the paper, walking around to different cubicles, walking around on different floors, as they do working.”

There there is former TDEC Water Resources Division Director Sandra K. Dudley, the Tennessee official most responsible for maintaining the quality of the state’s water and public works systems. Dudley had to remind her own employees how to use a toilet at work correctly, Tennessee Watchdog reported in 2013.

Dudley’s email included a warning employees are not supposed to flush their shoes down the commodes at the department’s main offices in downtown Nashville, at the Tennessee Tower.

Dudley also advised employees not to flush ink pens and paper clips down the crapper.

Also, according to the 2013 Tennessee Pork Report, TDEC held a three-day retreat at Montgomery Bell State Park in 2012. There they played golf, had a music jam session, watched the 1968 Lucille Ball film Yours, Mine and Ours.

The retreat cost taxpayers more than $45,000, according to The Pork Report.

Hill’s TDEC biography has been removed from a page on the department’s website.

A biography is available on a section of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s website dedicated to the Regional Resource Stewardship Council, of which Hill is a member.

Hill is a native of Cumberland County and worked as the county mayor there for 16 years, and operated a family business in Crossville. As county mayor, he is credited with creating Crossville’s reputation as the “Golf Capitol of Tennessee,” the TVA biography said.

He also was a board member for the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation and a member of the Advisory Board for Middle Tennessee State University’s Center for Historic Preservation.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com. Jason M. Reynolds contributed to this report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Thoughts to “Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Employee Reportedly Removed for Misconduct”

  1. […] As reported, Hill was a political appointee under former Republican Gov. Bill Haslam and oversaw Tennessee’s 56 state parks and 85 state natural areas. Hill was also the Cumberland County mayor for 16 years. […]

  2. TDEC INSIDER

    GREAT STORY! What the writer has proved is that at TDEC while all people are treated equal some people are more equal than others.

    While TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau (who dressed as a PIMP wearing a purple hat at a TDEC taxpayer paid event) is no longer the Commissioner due to changes in Administration Mr. Martineau Cronies are still in power and need to be fired.

    While the State of Tennessee’s Code of Conduct states Employees have a responsibility to the citizens of the State of Tennessee to act with integrity and to treat the people we serve, our colleagues, and other parties with dignity and respect. Employees should strive to maintain an ethical and professional environment that will enhance the name, service and general impression of the State in the eyes of the general public.

    The mention email in the article by one of TDEC’s deputy directors, Britton Dotson, who scolded water quality inspectors in an email for supposedly not paying attention to their jobs, this happen in an open cubicle office area in front other employees. His loudness and rudeness were heard in the office. Of course, this must be is a prime example of what a ethical and professional employee represents, when reported for this incident the punishment was only a slap on the wrist with a feather from TDEC Deputy Commissioner. Of course, what did we expect, he one of Meghreblian’s Cronies, who still employed. Yes, he has been observed with his feet up on the desk, laughing at other employees while making $7,800/month.

    NEWS TIP!!!! The Tennessee Star should investigate a rumor on how Mr. Dotson was allowed as State Employee to attend meetings with Dr. Shari L. Meghreblian, who was Acting TDEC Commissioner (after Bob Martineau early departure from TDEC) to lobby the members of the Tennessee State House and others to gain support in convincing Governor-Elect Bill Lee to retain Dr. Shari L. Meghreblian as TDEC Commissioner.

    Campaigning while been a state employee is a violation of the mini-Hatch act. Again, the Tennessee’s Code of Conduct states that “State employees may not use public employment or access to non-public State information for private gain.

    I guess if he was successful in getting Meghreblian re-appointed he would have been Deputy Commissioner over the Bureau of Environment. A $12,550 per month appointment. I guess that not for private gain.

    Commissioner David Salyers was correct in firing, the Park Commissioner if he acted wrongfully in violation of State Rules, however those violations are a drop in the bucket compared to what being allowed to happen in Water Resources.

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