Highway commissioner retiring amid TBI investigation into depart

Highway commissioner retiring amid TBI investigation into department

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The head of the Sullivan County Highway Department is retiring amid an investigation into his department regarding "alleged irregularities and improprieties." 

Sullivan County Highway Commissioner Terry Shaffer confirms he turned in his retirement papers this morning and plans on retiring on December 23rd.

"I'm retiring after 32 years and three months because I don't want to have to seek re-election and for health reasons," Shaffer said.

We've learned his department has remained the focus of an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for several months.

When asked, Shaffer said his impending retirement has nothing to do with any TBI investigation.

"I'm not going to comment about nothing about that," Shaffer said.

According to Sullivan County District Attorney Barry Staubus, he requested the investigation in late September. The district attorney wouldn't go into detail about the allegations.

"I've asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to investigate the highway department for alleged irregularities or improprieties and the investigation is still going on and when the investigation is complete I intend to take it to the Grand Jury in January or February," Staubus said.

Shaffer has served as highway superintendent for the last three years.

He took over after the previous highway commissioner was convicted of charges of theft of services.

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