60 females recorded on hidden camera in Tennessee gym bathroom

NASHVILLE, Tenn. —An investigation into a camera set up in a girls’ changing facility has revealed 60 victims as of Thursday afternoon, police in Tennessee said. 

The GoPro camera — which was found hidden in a girls’ changing and restroom at Premier Athletics which offers training in cheerleading, dance and gymnastics — was reviewed by police after it was found last week. Sixty females, mostly minors, were recorded on the camera, police said. Two of the victims appear to have been partially undressed.

Detectives believe someone had been intermittently staging the camera to capture video in the restroom since September.

“The placement of a camera in such a private place is a violation of trust in its most extreme form,” Franklin Police Department spokesperson Lt. Charles Warner said. “This is terribly upsetting to parents and their children, and it is just as troubling to us. The department is working diligently to safeguard sensitive images, to help victims and their families cope and to prepare a solid criminal case for the courtroom.”

Working with facility management, detectives have identified 47 of the 60 victims and are in the process of notifying their parents. Detectives are working to identify the remaining 13 victims.

The girls’ changing and restroom at the center of this investigation is located inside the Premier Athletics suite. There is no current evidence to suggest that other restrooms or private areas in the multi-tenant facility were compromised, police said. 

Franklin Police Department detectives are examining other evidence seized as part of the investigation and expect to file multiple charges.

Once a suspect is formally charged, Franklin police will identify that person, the charges, bond amount and court date.

Premier Athletics has not responded to a request for comment.

Follow Emily West on Twitter at @emwest22. 

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CCAGW PAC Endorses Five Tennessee House Candidates

Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Political Action Committee (CCAGW PAC) announced its endorsement for Reps. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Mark Green (R-Tenn.), David Kustoff (R-Tenn.) and John Rose (R-Tenn.) for re-election.

CCAGW PAC based its endorsements on the candidates’ lifetime score in CCAGW’s 2019 Congressional Ratings.

All five candidates have exemplary lifetime ratings that have made them a lifetime “Taxpayer Hero.” Rep. Green has a lifetime rating of 99 percent, Rep. Rose has a lifetime rating of 97 percent, and Rep. Burchett has a lifetime rating of 96 percent all based on their first year in Congress. Rep. Kustoff has a lifetime rating of 93 percent. Rep. DesJarlais has a lifetime rating of 91 percent and was named a “Taxpayer Super Hero” with a perfect 100 percent rating in 2019.

“During their tenures in the House, Reps. Burchett, DesJarlais, Green, Kustoff, and Rose have been strong and reliable votes to curb government waste and reform Washington,” said CCAGW PAC Chairman Tom Schatz. “On top of their impressive voting records, they worked with their colleagues to enact and retain historic tax cuts, support deregulation, and help ignite America’s economic boom. I urge Tennesseans to re-elect them to Congress.”

CCAGW PAC is affiliated with the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, a 501(c)(4) organization. CCAGW PAC’s mission is to support political candidates who will fight to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in government and represent the best interests of taxpayers.

Paid for by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Political Action Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201013005969/en/

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Alexandra Abrams (202) 467-5310
[email protected]

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House Democrats call for audit of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s ‘no-bid’ coronavirus spending

Tennessee House Democrats are now joining the political fight over coronavirus relief spending, following recent attacks on Nashville by Gov. Bill Lee and House Republican legislative leadership.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Gov. Bill Lee speaks at a press conference in the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Tennessee State Capitol Monday, March 16, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn.


© Alan Poizner / For The Tennessean
Gov. Bill Lee speaks at a press conference in the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Tennessee State Capitol Monday, March 16, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn.

After Lee earlier this month denied Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s request for an $82 million portion of the state’s federal coronavirus relief funds — money that would be on top of $121 million the city already directly received from the federal government — House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, last week asked the state comptroller to review Nashville’s spending of COVID-19 stimulus dollars.

But on Tuesday, in a letter spearheaded by Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, half of the House Democratic Caucus requested from Comptroller Justin Wilson an audit of their own: looking at the Lee administration’s spending of federal coronavirus funds.

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In addition to billions of other dollars in earmarked COVID-19 stimulus funds, Tennessee received $2.3 billion in from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, which allows states and some cities broad flexibility in how the money is spent.

“Our sincere fiscal concerns stem from the Lee administration’s well-documented history of awarding no-bid contracts to vendors,” Clemmons wrote.

He cited the administration’s award of a $1.2 million annual contract with ClassWallet. Awarded before the pandemic, the agreement with the Florida-based company was reached outside of the state’s established procurement process. The state hired the company to administer Tennessee’s education savings account program.

Clemmons then referenced tens of millions of dollars in expenditures using coronavirus relief funds, including more than $8 million in a no-bid contract to North Carolina-based sock company Renfro. Tennessee hired the company to produce 5 million masks that would be distributed to citizens.

He listed other contracts for personal protective equipment that have raised eyebrows as well, including one with a furniture company owned by state Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station, previously reported by NewsChannel 5.

“Fair questions about political connections and favoritism to supporters have been raised about the reasons for Gov. Lee’s highly suspect business dealings on behalf of our state,” Clemmons wrote. “Whether Governor Bill Lee is simply guilty of fiscal mismanagement and/or administrative incompetence or whether he has abused his broad emergency powers to enrich political allies and donors with no-bid state contracts are questions worthy of investigation.

“At the very least, the people of Tennessee deserve to know how, where, and why their hard-earned tax dollars were spent and to whom they were paid.”

Under Tennessee’s state of emergency, which has been in effect due to the pandemic since March, Lee by law has been authorized to make purchases without following the usual bidding process.

The governor has defended the state’s use of the emergency, no-bid procurement process, saying the state needed to make recent purchases quickly.

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Tennessee Democrats want audit of Gov. Bill Lee’s COVID-19 spending

Tennessee House Democrats are now joining the political fight over coronavirus relief spending, following recent attacks on Nashville by Gov. Bill Lee and House Republican legislative leadership.

After Lee earlier this month denied Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s request for an $82 million portion of the state’s federal coronavirus relief funds — money that would be on top of $121 million the city already directly received from the federal government — House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, last week asked the state comptroller to review Nashville’s spending of COVID-19 stimulus dollars.

But on Tuesday, in a letter spearheaded by Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, half of the House Democratic Caucus requested from Comptroller Justin Wilson an audit of their own: looking at the Lee administration’s spending of federal coronavirus funds.

In addition to billions of other dollars in earmarked COVID-19 stimulus funds, Tennessee received $2.3 billion in from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, which allows states and some cities broad flexibility in how the money is spent.

“Our sincere fiscal concerns stem from the Lee administration’s well-documented history of awarding no-bid contracts to vendors,” Clemmons wrote.

He cited the administration’s award of a $1.2 million annual contract with ClassWallet. Awarded before the pandemic, the agreement with the Florida-based company was reached outside of the state’s established procurement process. The state hired the company to administer Tennessee’s education savings account program.

Clemmons then referenced tens of millions of dollars in expenditures using coronavirus relief funds, including more than $8 million in a no-bid contract to North Carolina-based sock company Renfro. Tennessee hired the company to produce 5 million masks that would be distributed to citizens.

He listed other contracts for personal protective equipment that have raised eyebrows as well, including one with a furniture company owned by state Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station, previously reported by NewsChannel 5.

“Fair questions about political connections and favoritism to supporters have been raised about the reasons for Gov. Lee’s highly suspect business dealings on behalf of our state,” Clemmons wrote. “Whether Governor Bill Lee is simply guilty of fiscal mismanagement and/or administrative incompetence or whether he has abused his broad emergency powers to enrich political allies and donors with no-bid state contracts are questions worthy of investigation.

“At the very least, the people of Tennessee deserve to know how, where, and why their hard-earned tax dollars were spent and to whom they were paid.”

Under Tennessee’s state of emergency, which has been in effect due to the pandemic since March, Lee by law has been authorized to make purchases without following the usual bidding process.

The governor has defended the state’s use of the emergency, no-bid procurement process, saying the state needed to make recent purchases quickly.

His office did not immediately respond to a request about the Democrats’ call for an audit

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Tennessee House leadership calls for review of Nashville’s use of COVID-19 relief funds

Republican leadership in the Tennessee House has asked the state comptroller to conduct a “thorough review” of Nashville’s management of $131 million in state and federal COVID-19 relief funding.



a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone


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In response to Nashville’s lagging economic recovery and anticipating additional requests for state aid from the state’s budget next year, House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland, and 10 other House Republicans sent Comptroller Justin Wilson a letter Friday, asking him to review the city’s use of federal relief funds.

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“In Tennessee, we do let locals do what they need to do, but we’re not here to write a blank check and go into a partnership blind,” Sexton said in an interview with The Center Square. “So we are asking the comptroller to give us some thorough review of where their spending has been.”

Sexton called out Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s restrictive economic policies that have prevented many businesses from fully reopening after mandatory pandemic-related shutdowns.

“When he’s saying that business is what keeps this economy thriving and growing, and they need businesses to be open, it calls into question why he shut down Nashville for as long as he has, and why it’s the worst performing city in America right now, and why it’s the worst performing county in our state right now,” Sexton said.

The letter noted that of the more than 19,000 local governments in the country, only 36 municipalities were provided direct federal COVID-19 relief. Sexton said Cooper’s request for additional funding from the state earlier this month raised questions about how the city used the significant funding it already received.

“They had $121 million coming from the federal government, we gave them 10 additional million – so that’s $130 million. They said they needed another $82 million from the state. And then on top of that, they’re raising taxes about 34%, potentially,” Sexton said.

Gov. Bill Lee denied the city’s request for an additional $82 million in state funding last week.

In response to House leadership’s request, Cooper’s office said Nashville is ready for the comptroller’s review.

“We welcome the comptroller’s audit,” Chris Song, a spokesperson from Cooper’s office told The Center Square, praising the work of Metro’s COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee.

“Nashville’s direct CARES Act allocation has been spent directly on our COVID-19 emergency response and responsibly allocated to address the greatest need in our community, helping struggling Nashvillians keep food on their tables and roofs over their families’ heads, providing our residents with job placement assistance, and supporting our small businesses during the sharpest and most sudden recession in our lifetimes,” Song said.

Cooper outlined how the city has spent the federal funds in his letter requesting additional funds from the state earlier this month. According to Cooper, the city has spent $51.3 million on mass COVID-19 testing operations in the city, labor costs and hazard pay for more than 3,000 critical infrastructure employees and personal protective equipment.

Additionally, the city spent $24

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Tennessee man shoots deputy, killed when SWAT enters house

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man who held his girlfriend hostage and shot a deputy while barricading himself in a home in Tennessee was killed when a SWAT team entered the house, authorities said Thursday.

Jonathan Darsaw, 49, was fatally shot early Thursday during an “armed confrontation” with Shelby County sheriff’s deputies called in to help authorities in adjoining Fayette County, authorities said.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Fayette County authorities received reports Wednesday that a man had shot his girlfriend multiple times and was holding her hostage in a house in Moscow, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Memphis.

The man, identified as Darsaw, allowed his girlfriend to leave and barricaded himself in the house, the TBI said in a news release. The woman was hospitalized with injuries that were not critical.

Later Wednesday, Fayette County deputies tried to arrest Darsaw when he stepped onto his back porch. Darsaw shot at deputies, hitting one of them, the TBI said. The deputy received treatment for undisclosed wounds and is recovering, the TBI said.

Shelby County’s SWAT team was called for help and members entered the home at about 4 a.m. Thursday. Darsaw was fatally shot during a confrontation that is under investigation by the TBI, which will forward its findings to the district attorney.

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