Grand jury: Acting TBI Director did not break any laws

Acting TBI Director Jason Locke (Photo: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

The Davidson County Grand Jury determined that the acting TBI Director Jason Locke and Sejal West, the woman he allegedly had an affair while traveling on official business, did not commit a violation of any criminal statute.

The grand jury heard the investigative report on Tuesday.

In a report issued on Friday and signed by foreperson Larry Stephenson, the grand juror heard testimony from the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office, Tennessee Department of Homeland Security and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

“The presentation included the results of the investigation of the travel expenses paid by the State for Jason Locke, formerly an employee of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and Sejal West, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. The Grand Jury determined that neither party committed a violation of any criminal statute,” the report said.PREVIOUS: Acting TBI director's alleged misuse of state funds under investigation | DA's office to investigate whether Acting TBI Director committed crime | Acting TBI Director placed on leave amid misconduct allegations | Acting TBI Director Jason Locke to retireAn investigation began in June when Jason Locke’s wife Kim made serious misconduct allegations against him in emails sent to Gov. Bill Haslam.

In a series of emails, Kim Locke accused her husband of using state resources to engage in an extramarital affair with West, a former deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental and Substance Abuse.

Jason Locke was one of three finalists selected to become the new director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation after the retirement of Mark Gwyn. Haslam selected former Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch to lead the department prior to the release of the information concerning Jason Locke.

"He admitted to me that he drove his state vehicle and she drove her state vehicle to stay at hotels overnight in Knoxville, TN, and in Jackson, TN, paid for by the State of Tennessee," Kim Locke said in one email to Haslam, which were obtained by the News4 I-Team. "They each found a reason to be at those locations to continue their affair."

While Locke only confessed to those two trips, Kim Locke believes he and West took many more.INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS: Document 1 | Document 2 | Document 3 | Document 4 | Grand Jury statement"Sejal West's husband told me that there were numerous trips out of town on state time that they took together," she said. "Jason only admitted to two trips."

The affair allegedly took place between November 2016 and December 2017. It ended, she said, when West's husband, Ben, found out about the affair.

Both Jason Locke and West were placed on administrative leave effective June 20 while the investigation continued.

Jason Locke later announced he would retire from the TBI on June 25, the day Rausch began as director.

“We are looking into that to see if any crime occurred,” District Attorney General Glenn Funk said in a statement confirming the investigation. “Our office will get reports from the investigating agencies on all topics referenced in the email from Kimberly Locke. When the investigation is complete, we will take whatever action is appropriate based on the law and facts.”

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