Monday, July 16, 2007

North Carolina Scandals Outshine Tennessee

It is not just the Tennessee legislature which has been troubled with ethics violations and bad behavior from elected officials. I think one North Carolina official may have just earned the prize for Worst Legislator of the Year.

While the Tennessee Waltz sting, uncovering bribery, saw two more legislators, Crutchfield and Bowers, enter guilty pleas, the hallways of the state capitol in North Carolina were abuzz with some mighty strange and deranged behavior from a two-term GOP state representative, David Almond.

He resigned late last week in the wake of allegations from a female staffer who says Almond exposed himself to her and chased her about the office uttering some pretty vile stuff. Even more ugly is the fact that Almond was vice-chair on a state committee for children, youth and families.

At least he resigned pretty much immediately, avoiding a legislative investigation. And though Crutchfield and Bowers have been charged with accepting a few thousand dollars in bribe money, the scandals (yes, plural) in the N.C. legislature involve bribes of half a million dollars, and the bad news just keeps arriving.

So I guess the good news is, some states have it worse than Tennessee. In Alaska, for another example, elected officials now have to undergo 'ethics training.' Tennessee's efforts to create an 'ethical environment', sadly, are not faring well either.


  1. Trent8:22 AM

    Whoa there Joe... some similar "bad behavior" happened recently in our very own Capitol Hill in Nashville, but the male legislator involved didn't resign and the woman involved didn't press cahrges. (She did, I believe, infom House leaders. We'll never know all the details, because the Tennessee legislature exempts itself from the state's public records laws.)

    Also, the Tennessee trials aren't over yet -- the second Ford trail based in Nashville is coming up, which, I believe, deals with amounts of money larger than those in North Carolina.

    And Tennessee legislators do have to take ethics classes. It was part of the massive ethics bill created in the wake of the FBI's Operation Tennessee Waltz.

    Gosh, I just get angry when someone accuses another state of outshining my Tennessee!

  2. Trent -

    in the last link it does say the TN legislature also has to take ethics training classes, and i should have said that more plainly.

    more importantly, what are the details of the incident in TN similar to that chowderhead Almond guy in N.C.???

    i also thought that the single instance of one NC legislator accepting a bribe was for more money than all those in the TN Waltz combined - but my addition skills could be wrong, as i was educated in TN public school. :)

  3. Trent4:36 PM


    I'm sorry if I misread the ethics training segment. I, too, am a public school alum.

    As far as North Carolina's former House Majority Leader goes, yea, $500,000 grand is a lot of cash (from chiropractors, I believe), and yes, that makes the $55,000 pocketed by Ford in Tennessee Waltz seem paltry. But the Tennessee Waltz isn't the only item on Ford's dance card. He's accused by the U.S. Attorney in Nashville of taking $800,000 in a scheme where he served as a "consultant" to two contractors with TennCare at the same time that he was a lawmaker chairing a committee that oversaw the program. That trial hasn't happened yet.

    We're still No. 1, Joe.

    As far as the other chowderhead thing, e-mail me with a number and I'll hook you up with someone who can talk to you about it.

  4. well, as long as we come in first, i guess that counts for something. and it does get most time-consuming counting state by state scandals.

    i like the bumper sticker i saw about a year or so ago: Tennessee - Not All Our Politicians Are Indicted Yet!

    and as i has no idea what your email might be, just use mine via my profile and gimme them details about TN's own chowderhead!!