Former controversial Stewart County Sheriff David Hicks, now the head of the 23rd Judicial Drug Task Force, annoyed members of a select Senate Judiciary Subcommittee today investigating Tennessee’s drug task forces “policing for profit” standard operating policies.
Speaking of Mr. Hicks, “I had a hard time understanding why somebody would come to testify before us who didn’t have any answers to the questions that we asked,” said the subcommittee chairman, Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville.
Much of the testimony was centered around $160,000 dollars a Federal Court ruled was illegally seized by Mr. Hick’s agents.
A transcript of the inflammatory section of the video follows:
“I can tell you that money had terrorist ties overseas — I will tell you that,” he (Hicks) told the subcommittee.
“Then why was it returned to him?” asked Sen. Brian Kelsey, a Germantown Republican who chairs the full Senate Judiciary Committee.
“The DEA returned it to them — we didn’t,” Hicks said.
In fact, our investigation (Phil Williams/WTVF) discovered that the U.S. Attorney’s Office (not the DEA) returned the man’s cash more than a year later after investigators could not make any kind of a case.
“When they were pressed on it when there was a case pending in federal court, when it was put-up-or-shut-up time, they couldn’t produce a single shred of evidence to support these allegations,” said the businessman’s attorney, Olin J. Baker of Charlotte.
“At this point, they are making things up that’s absolutely not true.”
The attorney argued that agents from the 23rd are just trying to keep lawmakers from taking away their ability to seize cash from drivers — because that’s how they get paid.
In fact, Hicks conceded to lawmakers that “they know that if the money dries up, then they don’t have job.”
And it’s that profit motive that now has lawmakers questioning whether those task forces need some tighter controls. (As reported on WTVF Channel 5 News in Nashville.)
PNN agrees and questions why David Hicks would continue to cite ”terrorist” ties when a federal court, according to lawyer Olin J. Baker of Charlotte, “couldn’t produce a single shred of evidence to support these allegations”.
PNN believes, as does the select Senate Judiciary Subcommittee and Channel 5 News, that Mr. Hick’s testimony was, at the very least, misleading, inaccurate, and without foundation. According to a federal court ruling, he blatantly and outright lied to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee.
Why does PNN report this news? What does it have to do with Potneck and Stewart County? The answer is self-evident. PNN has long maintained that the murder investigations of Carla Sue Atkins and Vickie Lee Stout were bungled, distorted, and botched from the very beginning. PNN places the blame for this mismanagement and the subsequent lack of a conviction at the very top. At the very top of this investigation, the cases of Carla Sue Atkins and Vickie Lee Stout, stand Jack Charlton and David Hicks. PNN has maintained that for 33 years they, and their successors, have left a trail littered with incompetence and cover up.
PNN challenges David Hicks and his cronies, wherever they may lurk, be it in Stewart County, Dickson, Erin, or Nashville, as the Federal lawyer put it to, “put-up-or-shut-up”. PROVE to us in Potneck that OUR person of interest is innocent. You say you have the proof? Then show it, make it public, and quit just talking about it! PNN does not believe you have anything. PNN believes that talk, like the lives of Stewart County citizens, is cheap in your view.
PNN again quotes Olin J. Baker, Attorney, “At this point, they are making things up that’s absolutely not true.” If you only knew, Mr. Baker, if you only knew.
PROVE to the select Senate Judiciary Subcommittee that money you illegally confiscate from citizens to pay your agents is warranted because it has “terrorist” connections. A Federal Court disagrees with you, Mr. Hicks. PNN considers itself standing in good company and enjoys having something in common with a Federal Court; we both think you are lying.