Why Did the FBI and IRS Raid Gov. Haslam's Family Business?

Apr 16, 2013

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he was as surprised as anyone that FBI and IRS agents locked down the headquarters of his family’s company Monday. He says all he knows is that they were looking for “certain records.” 

The governor remains a primary shareholder in Knoxville-based Pilot Flying J, though he has never disclosed the level of his investment. He stepped down as company president in 1998. Brother Jimmy has returned as CEO after leaving his post briefly last year when he bought the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.

Gov. Haslam was asked by reporters Tuesday if he was worried about any appearance of impropriety.

“Well sure. To say you didn’t would not exactly be honest. That’s a business that my family is involved in, people I care a lot about. So to say that it doesn’t feel like a big deal is wrong," said the governor.

Pilot is cooperating with federal law enforcement. CEO Jimmy Haslam says in a statement he believes “there has been no wrongdoing.”

The governor says that while there has been “a lot of gossip and suspicion” about what attracted the FBI’s attention, “the truth is nobody knows, and I don’t either.”

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