Could Tom Ingram find himself in trouble?
Tom Ingram, veteran consultant to both Gov. Bill Haslam and Pilot Flying J, faces a potential civil penalty for failing for three years to register as required by law as a lobbyist for a company that wants to mine coal on state-owned land near Crossville.
Ingram said Wednesday the failure to register was "inadvertent on Marcelle's part," a reference to Marcelle Durham, president of The Ingram Group, the public relations and lobbying firm that Ingram founded and operates.
Durham has written a letter to the state Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance acknowleding the "inadvertent oversight" and declaring she will submit belated lobbyist registrations for three years of lobbying for Hillsborough Resources Inc., which is negotiating with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to mine for coal on Catoosa Wildlife Management Area.
Current Davidson County Republican Party chairman Bob Duvall writes a letter:
"The Davidson County Republican Party has taken no position with regard to administrative issues or staffing decisions that fall under the jurisdiction of the Davidson County Election Commission. As a partisan organization, it is not within our mission or goals to interfere in the deliberations of an official government agency. Any communication disseminated from sources other than the current elected leadership of the party does not represent policy or views of the DCRP in this matter.
As Nashvillians, we all share a desire to have elections conducted fairly, impartially and in a professional manner. Political considerations have, for too many years, interfered with the proper conduct of elections in Davidson County and the DCRP believes fair elections must be the standard we aspire to. I am confident that this situation will be resolved in a timely manner based on facts and by individuals who wish to see full confidence restored to the operations of the Davidson County Election Commission."