Tennessee Dem Gov Candidate Karl Dean Under Fire Over Misuse of Disaster Relief

A new report says $7.4 million in federal disaster relief was misused by Dean.

The RGA writes:

Tennessee Democrat gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean has come under fire by the press and his primary opponent for misusing flood dollars during his tenure as Mayor of Nashville, and is now making misleading statements about the controversy. A report by WSMV’s I-Team found that $7.4 million in federal disaster relief was misused by Dean and used for “riverfront development,” including building an amphitheater, rather than going towards flood victims in need.

Dean even falsely claimed at a recent gubernatorial forum that, “The money that was used was used for flood mitigation, not for building an amphitheater.” This is false. WSMV “reviewed thousands of pages of invoices, budgets, HUD correspondence and internal e-mails that confirm the use of flood disaster funds for the design and engineering of Ascend Amphitheater.”

Karl Dean’s Democrat opponent, Craig Fitzhugh, has seized on the issue, saying that it undermines the “public trust.”

It’s clear that Karl Dean not only misused taxpayer dollars, harming flood victims, but also won’t be honest about it. By misleading voters, Karl Dean demonstrates that he lacks the character to serve as governor.

WSMV: Former mayor denies flood money went toward amphitheater

Last week the News4 I-Team reported that $7.4 million in HUD disaster relief money didn't go to flood victims; it went to design and engineering work for riverfront development, including Ascend Amphitheater.

Dean said during the debate, "The money that was used was used for flood mitigation, not for building an amphitheater."

Dean's former communications director Janel Lacy reinforced the message Wednesday morning, tweeting “strong rebuttal by Karl Dean in response to a false statement about the use of flood recovery funds”

...

The I-Team asked to interview anyone on his campaign staff and offered to bring thousands of pages of documentation to the interview for their review. Lacy asked the I-Team’s Nancy Amons to email documents and said that they would respond after reviewing the material.

The I-Team reviewed thousands of pages of invoices, budgets, HUD correspondence and internal e-mails that confirm the use of flood disaster funds for the design and engineering of Ascend Amphitheater.

The work was overseen by Commonwealth Development, whose CEO Larry Atema is a friend of Rich Riebeling. Riebeling was Dean’s finance director and is now Metro‘s Chief Operating Officer.

Dean's finance office signed off on the invoices for the Riverfront Development and Ascend Amphitheater project.

One invoice for $110,884, for example, was submitted by Commonwealth on July 31, 2015, with the heading “Riverfront Park and Ascend Amphitheater.”

Another invoice dated March 17, 2014, included the tasks of drawing “building floor plans, base drawings, finish plans and specifications.”

3 days, 15 hours ago

Biden's polling dip threatens Virginia’s McAuliffe and New Jersey Gov. Murphy

New polls following the administration’s bungled Afghanistan withdrawal and inability to slow the spread of the coronavirus show a growing lack of faith in Biden which may extend to those who have embraced him

4 days, 12 hours ago

Arizona sues Biden administration over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Biden announced the mandates last week, sparking GOP opposition

4 days, 13 hours ago

What The French Laundry Has to Do With Gavin Newsom's Recall Election

In early November, Newsom was found to be in violation of his own recommended virus precautions when he attended a friend's birthday dinner at The French Laundry, a three-star Michelin restaurant located within Napa County in Yountville.

5 days, 14 hours ago

Nebraska Gov. Ricketts rails against vaccine mandate: Biden 'pretty ignorant of what's going on'

Ricketts said he is planning to take legal action against the mandate

1 week, 1 day ago

Governors Immediately Push Back On ‘Unconstitutional’ Biden Plan: ‘Will Fight Them To The Gates Of Hell’

Numerous governors have issued statements following Democrat President Joe Biden’s speech on Thursday signaling that they will strongly oppose his attempts to mandate vaccines.

1 week, 2 days ago

Gov. DeSantis commends 9/11 responders, rebukes calls to defund police

“If you go down the road of defunding law enforcement, you're going have hell to pay on the back end,” he warned.