Governor Bill Haslam answers questions after a luncheon at Lipscomb University on Feb 6, 2013, in Nashville. / Dipti Vaidya / File / The Tennessean
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has struggled almost from the start of his administration to fulfill a campaign pledge to avoid handling matters relating to Pilot Flying J, the family-owned truck stop chain run by his brother, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.
Now, an FBI investigation of alleged fraud by the sales staff at the nation's largest diesel retailer is raising more questions about links between the governor and Pilot.
A top political adviser to the governor also is orchestrating Pilot's public response to the investigation; a current board member and part-owner of Pilot has been appointed by the governor as the interim University of Memphis president; and another board member runs the parent company of a mining firm that wants to extract coal from public land in Tennessee.