Tennessee AG to investigate Ragsdale's office

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper has been appointed to investigate possible misuse of Knox County funds and alleged official misconduct in Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale's office, according to a letter District Attorney General Randy Nichols sent to Knox County Commissioners.

Nichols told commissioners that Cooper "has been appointed under state law to take responsibility to investigate all matters and conduct any proceedings relative to the handling and possible misuse of Knox County funds, possible conflicts of interest and possible official misconduct" in the Mayor's office in violation of state law or the Knox County charter.

Nichols says the investigation will focus on grant funds and the audits of the purchasing card program, travel expenses, and hospitality funds.

Cooper will also advise citizens seeking an ouster suit against Mayor Ragsdale.

Mayor Ragsdale's chief administrative officer Dwight Van de Vate released the following statement Monday afternoon:

“We welcome the involvement of the State Attorney General’s Office and the continued efforts of General Bright. The work of General Cooper and his staff will ensure a fact-finding process that is careful, deliberate, and objective. We will continue to support their work and look forward to seeing these questions definitively answered once and for all.”

To read Gen. Nichols' letter to Knox County Commissioners, CLICK HERE.

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