The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation deputy who was booted from his job sent a female state employee a series of reportedly disgusting texts, according to the Nashville-based WSMV.
TDEC investigated former deputy commissioner Brock Hill, but members of that agency reportedly would not disclose details to the station other than to say “the woman’s claims led them to find additional concerns about workplace misconduct.”
State officials denied almost all WSMV’s open records requests, other than a series of text messages, reportedly between two unnamed state employees discussing how Hill’s texts had troubled a female employee.
“In the texts, the first employee writes, ‘Would you want to know if Brock made an inappropriate comment to a (redacted name)?’” WSMV reported.
“That employee later sent a text reading, ‘He has already been texting (name redacted) today and invited her to go camping with him out west.’ When the second employee asked if the woman can screen shot Hill’s texts, the first employee responded, ‘She has tons of them. She says they are awkward, but she plays along as if he was a friend.’” The first employee said the woman described the communication with Hill as ‘disgusting.’ The second employee responded by writing, ‘That’s an understatement.’”
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.
This was 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 slouching on the job.
Meanwhile, 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 email her own employees how to use a toilet at work correctly.