Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

A memo, summing up the investigative findings into former state assistant commissioner Brock Hill, show four women claim he made sexually charged comments and unwelcome advances.

An attorney Hill denies the accusations.

The memo, from the state Department of Human Resources, reads that the four women said the harassment happened over a substantial period of time.

Hill, a former deputy commissioner with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, was terminated after a woman who works for the state claimed he sent her texts that she described as “disgusting.”

A TDEC spokesman refused to most details about the findings of their investigation into former deputy commissioner Brock Hill but stated that the woman’s claims led them to find additional concerns about workplace misconduct.

But the News4 I-Team did obtain a investigation summary memorandum by the state department of human services, which outlines the complaints by four women.

The memo states that four women, all TDEC employees, said they were subjected to unwelcomed verbal and physical conduct by Hill.

The memo reads that the women claim Hill made sexually charged comments and unwelcomed advances over a substantial amount of time.

The description of the complaints also showed that the women were afraid to come forward because of fear of retaliation and job loss because Hill was a deputy commissioner, even though he wasn't their direct supervisor.

Jimmy Bradshaw, Hill's attorney, said his client denies any inappropriate conduct. 

"He's very frustrated because he's been given no details. There's more details given to the press about the circumstances surrounding his termination than he's been given," Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw also said Hill did not have the chance to respond before being terminated.

"There was no substantive investigation that we know of, and no effort by the state to get his side of the story," Bradshaw said.

TDEC did release a series of text messages between two unnamed state employees with the agency.

TDEC spokesman Eric Ward confirmed the two employees were describing how a female employee with the state was troubled by texts she had received from Hill.

In the texts, the first employee writes, “Would you want to know if Brock made an inappropriate comment to a (redacted name)?”

That employee later sent a text reading, “He has already been texting (name redacted) today and invited her to go camping with him out west.”

When the second employee asked if the woman can screen shot Hill’s texts, the first employee responded, “She has tons of them. She says they are awkward, but she plays along as if he was a friend.”

The first employee said the woman described the communication with Hill as “disgusting.”

The second employee responded by writing, “That’s an understatement.”

Emily Tseffos, a volunteer with Enough is Enough TN, reviewed the texts and said she found the woman’s experience “appalling.”

Tseffos said the state should reveal what they uncovered in their investigation.

“When you're not sharing what had happened - what happens down the road? It actually puts us at more of a risk as the public, because we don't know what we did,” Tseffos said.

Ward said in an email that when the state began to investigate the woman’s claims, it revealed potential misconduct and additional workplace misconduct concerns.

“The State acted promptly and appropriately under the circumstances and separated Mr. Hill from State service,” Ward said.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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