Former Tennessee Commissioner Hodgen Mainda, Accused of Sexual Harassment, Has Uncertain Status with Leadership Tennessee


Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Hodgen Mainda has stepped down from his position after someone reportedly lodged sexual harassment allegations against him, and it appears Mainda might have also left his role on Leadership Tennessee’s Advisory Council.

Leadership Tennessee’s website listed Mainda as a member of its Advisory Council on Wednesday. By Thursday, however, the Leadership Tennessee website no longer listed Mainda as a member of the Advisory Council.

Officials with Leadership Tennessee did not return The Tennessee Star’s request for comment Wednesday or Thursday.

According to its website, members of Leadership Tennessee “engage leaders and citizens in non-partisan dialogue focused on problem-solving.” reported earlier this month that TDCI officials produced insufficient evidence to prove Mainda acted inappropriately at a conference in Florida in February of this year. The website reported that Mainda resigned his position in late October and returned to the private sector in Chattanooga.

As The Star reported last year, Gov. Bill Lee appointed Mainda. Chattanooga’s Electric Power Board previously employed Mainda as one of its vice presidents.

“Hodgen joins my cabinet after an outstanding career as a community leader in Chattanooga,” Lee said at the time, while announcing Mainda’s appointment.

“He is respected for his ability to build partnerships across multiple sectors, and we welcome his leadership to such a multifaceted department like Commerce & Insurance.”

As The Tennessee Watchdog reported in 2011, EPB officials spent $111 million of federal stimulus money — taxpayer money — on a Smart Grid that would help the public utility compete against already-existing private Internet Service Providers.

The Smart Grid, in all, cost $300 million.

Customers who only used EPB’s electrical service financed $160 million via a loan to EBP Telecom, while EPB’s actual Internet and cable television customers were responsible for the remainder.

As The Tennessee Watchdog reported that year, private competitors were unhappy.

Then-EPB head Harold DePriest told the website that year that Chattanooga residents cared little for how it was financed.

“To tell you the truth, my customers don’t care as long as they get good services at a good price,” DePriest said.

“When we got in business, Chattanooga had 20 High Definition channels. Today we have 120. When we got in business we had exceedingly slow Internet, but now we’ve got one gigabyte.”

EPB is one of nine publicly-owned communications networks in Tennessee.

At the time, those nine publicly-owned communications networks had accumulated a deficit of $176 million.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]





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One Thought to “Former Tennessee Commissioner Hodgen Mainda, Accused of Sexual Harassment, Has Uncertain Status with Leadership Tennessee”

  1. Kevin

    I don’t quite understand! If Joe Biden can get away with groping and fondling every female within reach, and still be crowned President-elect, why can’t Hodgen do it? Certainly there must be something racist about these allegations!