Commissioner of Tennessee Department of Safety steps down - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Commissioner of Tennessee Department of Safety steps down

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Governor Bredesen announced today that the commissioner and another top official at the Department of Safety have stepped down.

Commissioner Fred Phillips is resigning from the post effective immediately, and Deputy Commissioner Tom Moore announced his retirement.

The departures came a day after an investigation found several Highway Patrol employees had criminal records.

Yesterday, it was announced that background checks at the Tennessee Highway Patrol found 41 troopers and staffers have criminal or driving violations.

Bredesen said at that time that there's been a pattern of cronyism that needs rooting out.

The criminal charges ranged in severity and included aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

Bredesen has sworn in Jerry Nicely, the state's current transportation commissioner, to take Phillips' place for 60 days.

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