FBI chief says public corruption probes continuing in Tennessee

FBI chief says public corruption probes continuing in Tennessee

June 29, 2006

KNOXVILLE (AP) -- The FBI is continuing its investigations into public corruption in Tennessee through two probes that have netted indictments of state lawmakers and authorities in Cocke County.

FBI Director Robert Mueller visited with agents from around the Southeast Thursday in Knoxville and spoke highly of the Knoxville office's efforts to seek out corruption.

The Tennessee Waltz undercover investigation has charged nine public officials, including five current or former state lawmakers, and two political operatives. The sting used an FBI front company that offered bribes statewide for government favors.

Eight Cocke County law enforcement officers have been arrested as part of Rose Thorn, a five-year probe into public corruption and organized crime in the county.

In summer 2005, the FBI led a raid on a cockfighting pit that led to 143 arrests.

Mueller said both investigations helped root out public corruption.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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