Late Wednesday Tennessee U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN-05) blasted long time News Channel 5 reporter Phil Williams over claims Williams made about the death of Ogle’s son in 2014 in a story published earlier in the day by News Channel 5.
Hugh Lincoln Ogles, the son of future Congressman Ogles and his wife Monica Ogles, died on February 19, 2014, the day of his birth, and was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Franklin, Tennessee.
Devastated by the loss of their son, Ogles and his wife established a GoFundMe account whose original purpose was to build a burial garden, which would be “a place for Lincoln’s new play friends as they wait in Heaven for their families.” Over the course of the following year, the campaign raised $23,565 before it ended.
In the article published by News Channel 5 on Wednesday, Williams claimed, without evidence, that Ogles “kept the money.”
“I knew politics could be ruthless, but I never expected it to sink to such disgusting lows as to have a reporter calling around to my close friends asking about the death and burial site of our beloved son, Lincoln, and question our giving in his honor,” Ogles told The Tennessee Star in an exclusive statement.
“Monica and I were the largest donor to the GoFundMe, followed by my immediate family and friends. What we raised wasn’t enough for our original goal of a more significant memorial, so the purpose evolved from a memorial to direct financial support for families covering the cost of funeral expenses and other needs for their children as opportunities to help arose,” Ogles continued.
“It’s been our honor to support families and causes in the name of Lincoln Ogles. What started as a small GoFundMe fueled our family into continued service throughout our community for several years,” the congressman added.
Ogles’ office confirmed that the funds raised through GoFundMe account have been spent in financial support of other families who have lost children over a period of several years, and that accounting records will confirm those expenditures actually exceed the amount contributed to the GoFundMe account.
Andy Miller, one of the donors to the GoFundMe campaign, confirmed that the funds raised have been spent on the mission of providing financial support to grieving families.
“When Andy [Ogles] began his mission to grow financial support for a memorial for grieving families, I was honored to be able to step up and provide $2,500 for the cause. Andy has used that money and the other donations received to assist families in the community and honor Lincoln’s life. It has been a cause that I have seen support those in some of their darkest hours, and I am proud of my friend’s work to help families in our community,” Miller said.
“As a parent who has lost a child, my wife and I have lived with this unimaginable grief daily. It’s like living two lives, the one while Lincoln blessed us on the Earth and the life we’ve lived every day after in honor of his memory. It’s a grief that never goes away, and we’ve all just learned to live with the heavy weight of loss,” Ogles said.
“The smear campaign and muckraking against me is one thing, but questions about my son have crossed a line, and I will not tolerate it. Exploiting the death of any child in an attempt to gain some sort of journalistic fame is vile. These disgusting smears are why people do not want to step up and serve in politics, and it has to stop,” Ogles concluded.
Read Congressman Ogles’ full statement here:
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Michael Patrick Leahy is the Editor in Chief of The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Leahy on Twitter at @michaelpleahy.
Photo “Andy Ogles and wife Monica” by Andy Ogles and “Phil Williams” by News Channel 5.
9 Thoughts to “EXCLUSIVE: Tennessee Rep. Andy Ogles Blasts Phil Williams for Personal Attacks Based on Death of Ogles’ Son”
What job of Ogles’s involved counting roaches in restaurants?
Whether Andy Ogles did wrong or not, it’s on him to defend himself. But Phil Williams is transparently liberal and his comments and choices of which news articles to share on his public social feeds make that abundantly clear. NewsChannel 5 Nashville should have chosen a more objective reporter and someone who isn’t so obviously a partisan Democrat to pursue a story like this about a Republican politician. It’s just bad optics.
phil williams is a liberal hack. he has a hard on for conservatives.
Phil Williams has become a nasty glory grabber who is motivated by his desire to be a hero for the liberal left. This follows the slide of Nashville Media to becoming tools for the liberal left.
Phil Williams has clearly define himself as a slime ball which is typical of so many in Nashville media including others at WTVF.
I believe the appropriate term Congressman is looking for to describe Phil Williams is “reprobate”. Not unlike faux Journalists Steve Hunley and Victor Ashe in Knoxville. This guy is willing to tell any lie to further a false narrative that destroys the integrity of others while hiding their true nature.
So, long-time News Channel 5 reporter Phil Williams—in my opinion, a virulent ‘lefty’ if there ever was one—misrepresented (i.e., lied), huh?! Looks like Williams and his fellow travelers (i.e., all being no ‘blow’ is too ‘low’ in furtherance of the cause extremists) must really want Ogles ‘OUT’! There used to be minimum standards of decency that not even people like Williams et al. would violate—but apparently not now. Now, Williams and his crowd just want to be noticed, and I will remember.
I don’t know. Phil seems to be going a little overboard here. He won’t touch Nashville corruption with a ten foot pole either.
Phil Williams is a disgusting human being who reached the height of his career when he was counting roaches in restaurants. Since then, he has sided with the cockroaches and tried to attack any conservative in the area.