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Prosecutor places relatives on leave after nepotism report

February 25, 2022 GMT

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A prosecutor has placed two relatives on leave after the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office found that he violated a policy against nepotism.

A report from the Comptroller’s Office said an investigation determined Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston needs to either transfer his wife and her brother to another government entity or terminate their employment, news outlets reported.

After the report was released Wednesday, Pinkston said in a statement that the employees were placed on leave and that he is “reviewing the recommendations of the comptroller’s office and may have additional comments at a later date.”

Pinkston has served as the top prosecutor for Tennessee’s 11th Judicial District since 2014.

He married his chief of staff in 2019 and in 2020 appointed her brother as an investigator. Neither report directly to him, but the comptroller’s report said they are in the direct line of his supervision, news outlets reported.