Former Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada and current Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron are both being investigated for allegedly misspending campaign money, according to NewsChannel 5.
The Tennessee Registry of Election Finance unanimously voted Wednesday to look into both politicians’ campaign and political action committee accounts.
Registry Board Member Tom Lawless told Channel 5 he wanted two things: transparency and integrity.
“It’s not something I’m thrilled to ask for by any stretch of the imagination but I think we have to,” he said. “It’s of sufficient import to the folks that put us here and to the taxpayers and to the people elected that we do this.”
The state’s election finance registry has had a hard time collecting fines for violating campaign and ethics rules. As The Tennessee Star previously reported, the registry has $1.5 million in outstanding unpaid fines, including fines against Ketron, who already owes $50,000 to the state.
Casada, upon learning about the upcoming investigation, issued a statement to The Tennessean.
“I am confident that an independent review of my PAC and campaign finances by the registry will make it clear that I have not used any funds inappropriately, and I urge them to move forward with an investigation,” he said.
Casada announced his resignation from Tennessee’s General Assembly in June after controversial texts came to light between him and his former chief of staff Cade Cothren. His last day as speaker was August 2.
Channel 5 first reported that Casada’s PAC, called “CAS-PAC,” had improperly spent money on late-night partying.
When the registry audits Ketron, it will focus on his financial records from when he ran for Rutherford County mayor and was a member of the Tennessee General Assembly, according to The Tennessean. Recently, Ketron had his Murfreesboro-based insurance company searched by the town’s police force.
– – –
Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Battleground State News. Follow Zachery on Twitter.
Photo “Glen Casada” by Glen Casada. Background Photo “Tennessee General Assembly Floor” by Ichabod. CC BY-SA 3.0.