State Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, said a Channel 4 I-Team investigation that revealed suspected drugs found at a top drug enforcement official's home is further proof that her agency shouldn't oversee marijuana eradication.
The Channel 4 I-team first exposed last week how suspected marijuana was found at the home of Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission Director Danielle Elks last October, but there was never a drug investigation.
Along with enforcing alcohol rules, the ABC also investigates marijuana.
Employees of the ABC approached the I-Team, upset about the suspected drugs and lack of drug investigation.
"I grant you, if that had happened to any of us, we would have been made an example of. We would have been in headlines in the papers, the news, and everywhere else," one employee said.
Two Dickson County deputies and a THP trooper came to Elk's home to notify her that her husband, famed musician Joel Digregorio, had died in a car crash.
According to a police summary, the front door was locked, the back door was open a bit and the officers went inside to make sure there wasn't an intruder and to check on her welfare.
That's when the deputies found the suspected marijuana and rolling papers in the kitchen, along with a sticker for the governor's marijuana eradication task force, and pointed it out to the THP trooper.
Elks' business card was also found in the home.
But the trooper never launched an investigation.
Ketron said the discovery of the suspected drugs concerns him.
"In the kitchen, on the table, with rolling papers. I just have a hard time swallowing the fact that here she is, the director of the governor's task force on marijuana eradication," Ketron said.
Elks would not answer the I-Team's questions on camera.
An autopsy showed her husband had alcohol and marijuana in his system.
Elks was in Memphis at the time.
Regardless, Ketron has questions if Elks had knowledge of the drug use.
Ketron's bill, introduced weeks before the Channel 4 I-Team investigation, would take away marijuana eradication from the ABC and move it to the TBI.
Ketron said that's where the agents working for the ABC should be employed anyway.
Ketron said the I-Team's investigation just further proves his point.
"I'm not sure that (Ketron's bill) was on the current governor's radar, but now, I think because of your report, that is it. It's something that we should look at and vet it out," Ketron said.
A spokesman for Gov. Bill Haslam told the Channel 4 I-Team that the matter had been investigated by the proper authorities.
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