The Tennessee Star’s Investigative Reporter Corinne Murdock Uncovers the Truth in Ovid Timothy Hughes Story

The Tennessee Star’s Investigative Reporter Corinne Murdock Uncovers the Truth in Ovid Timothy Hughes Story


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Star News Network’s own investigative reporter Corinne Murdock to the studio to discuss her investigation into the criminal history of Ovid Timothy Hughes and his abrupt and unclear resignation from the Nashville COB.

Leahy: In the studio with us are great investigative reporter Corrine Murdock, just you know breaking stories left and right by doing, you know, basic journalism. Something is really not being done so much these days anymore.

(Leahy and Murdock talk about her background)

Leahy: You are an investigative machine. You’ve developed this skill set to find out the truth. This is what I like about you. You seek the truth. What is the truth and how do we find it. I gotta tell you really impressed me with this story that you discovered about the convicted felon Ovid Timothy Hughes who told the Metro Council that he was a registered voter back in February of 2020. Tell us why this story caught your attention that broke about a week ago that Ovid Timothy Hughes who’s one of the 11 members of the Committee Oversight Board that supposedly is there to look at police misconduct, but as a much broader charge that they’ve developed. He resigned mysteriously.

Murdock: Right.

Leahy: So that’s just kind of a story. What prompted your curiosity about that story?

Murdock: Well, I’d known previous members and I’d seen previous members resign due to stress or due to some internal dramas. That initially was what I was interested about is why to resign and why now less than a year later form being appointed. Especially when you’re a big activist in the community and you have a vested interest in wanting to make the community better through this board. And I happened to put in his full name or a version of his name and something popped up.

Leahy: This is interesting right? Because we didn’t give you this assignment. You were just following your interests and following your curiosity. And this is what we do, right? We look at things that don’t make sense. Why did that happen? Why would this guy Ovid Timothy Hughes who was nominated by the Tennessee chapter of the NAACP? Very engaged in the Equity Alliance and some other groups like Black Votes Matter. A very articulate guy. Why would he serve on the board or try to get on it serve on it for a year and then suddenly resign with no explanation?

Murdock: And his resignation letter doesn’t indicate that either which that’s a further question to be answered. Did someone else know what was going on inside the board or inside the government and ask him quietly to leave. or does he have another reason, but  I mean he didn’t ever respond to us, of course, but we’re hoping he does.

Leahy: So this is what I like about what you do Corinne. So here we are. We have a mystery. We do find out some facts about it after Ovid Timothy Hughes resigned from the Community Oversight Board which was established by this referendum and passed in November 2018. And then they have this whole lengthy process to get members on.

And you have to be approved by the subcommittee of the Metro Council chaired then by Dave Rosenberg who’s a city councilman from Bellevue and a far-left apparatchik. My words, not yours. You have to get briefed. They have to approve you and recommend you and then the full council votes on them.

One person, a good friend of our program, very qualified, they would not even consider her. They rejected her. Carol Swain. Carol Swain would be fabulous. She has a Ph.D. She’s been a professor at Princeton. They rejected her. And apparently, they don’t even vet their members. And so tell us what you found about Ovid Timothy Hughes when did your search and what do we know about him initially?

Murdock: I found this whole blog post about how he had been charged with mail fraud.

Leahy: Just a blog post.

Murdock: Yes and it appeared that he actually responded in a comment in defense of himself.

Leahy: Someone claiming to be Ovid Timothy Hughes responded defending himself.

Murdock: Right. He gave details about how his employer had treated him and other employees. And I looked further and followed into what the judges had said. And then I ended up finding the actual judgment.

Leahy: There was not a press release from the Metro City Council saying this guy has a criminal record, right?

Murdock: No.

Leahy: No, it was a hidden fact out there.

Murdock: Right.

Leahy: You discovered it.

Murdock: I don’t know if he had disclosed that to the council at all. Actually, he never mentioned it. But he did say that his grandfather’s, both of them and his father were police officers themselves so…

Leahy: And we haven’t found any evidence to corroborate that have we?

Murdock: No.

Leahy: We’ll have more about how you found out the truth about this convicted felon Ovid Timothy Hughes who told the Metro Council he was a registered voter a year ago. And that’s a requirement by law to serve on the city council.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Timothy Hughes” by Timothy Hughes. Background Photo “Nashville City Hall” by Nicolas Henderson. CC BY 2.0.









The Tennessee Star’s Investigative Reporter Corinne Murdock Talks Follow up Questions to Metro Officials About COB Vetting Process

The Tennessee Star’s Investigative Reporter Corinne Murdock Talks Follow up Questions to Metro Officials About COB Vetting Process


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star investigative reporter Corinne Murdock in the studio to discuss her follow up discoveries after reaching out to Metro officials regarding the vetting and eligibility of potential COB members.

Leahy: Joining us now is our ace Investigative Reporter Corinne Murdock. So we’re talking about how you report the news. And one thing I like about the way you do it is it’s a way it should be done. When we have a fact we verify the fact and then we ask the subject to respond. So in this particular case, we’re looking at the facts are surrounding the criminal history of Ovid Timothy Hughes who appeared before the Metro Council select committee on elections and appointments back on February 4th of 2004.

We have the transcript of that interview. Headline convicted felon, Ovid Timothy Hughes told Metro council members he was a registered voter. And you can listen to the tape. And Dave Rosenberg who is the city council member who is not responding to our calls. We’ve asked to invite him to come on in and explain why the Metro City Council is not properly vetting members of this community oversight board. 11 members.

There is a legal requirement and that legal requirement according to Tennessee laws is that you have to be a registered voter. If you go into this video clip, Chairman Rosenberg of this committee specifically asked Ovid Timothy Hughes this, “Are you a registered voter?” response from Hughes, “I am.” Well, there’s a problem with that. Tell us about the problem you discovered with that statement by I-Ovid Timothy Hughes.

Murdock: Well, he was convicted in 2008 for mail fraud.

Leahy: And there is a press release from the Department of Justice. Also, if you go to that story at the Tennessee Star, I just mentioned you can literally see we have embedded the Judgment in a criminal case United States of America versus Ovid Timothy Hughes. You found this with your research. And basically, the defendant was convicted of mail fraud. It’s a violation of US Code 1341. And he was sentenced to one year and one day in prison. Federal supervision. According to the US code if you are sentenced for more than one year, but less than five years that’s considered a Class E felony.

Murdock: Correct.

Leahy: So what did you do to find out whether or not he’s a registered voter?

Murdock: Well, I reach out through the Secretary of State’s office and they were pretty quickly able to tell me no. He’s not a registered voter. And then they confirmed because he was convicted of a felony.

Leahy: So they knew he was convicted of a felony in 2008.

Murdock: Right.

Leahy: They confirmed and they removed him from the voter rolls.

Murdock: Right.

Leahy: Okay. So a couple of things here about this. The law says you have to be a registered voter to serve on the community oversight board. The Metro Council apparently is not vetting anybody who’s serving on the board from what we can tell. You’ve tried to ask them about their vetting procedures. Tell us what has happened.

Murdock: I haven’t heard anything back. But apparently, if you submit your questionnaire late you’re disqualified or excluded from appointment consideration of appointment I should say.

Leahy: What we don’t know and we’re going to put in an open record request into the Metro clerk’s office. There’s a little issue called a sworn statement. In other words, if you make a false sworn statement before any committee or any governmental entity, that is a misdemeanor. It’s perjury. It’s a misdemeanor. In this particular case what we know is that the testimony was apparently given before the committee was not sworn testimony because we went back and looked at it and Chairman Rosenberg for whatever reason did not say do you swear that everything you say is true.

He just did an interview. So if it’s not a sworn statement, apparently you haven’t committed perjury. We don’t know if his questionnaire was a sworn statement at the bottom. Nonetheless, I mean if he was to be subject to possible perjury charges I doubt anybody in the city government attorney general or district attorney here would prosecute that because obviously, this guy is a social justice warrior.

And it appears to me we have a two-tiered justice system. You can get away with it if you are a social justice warrior, but if you’re anybody else you can’t. So who else have you talked to say, what kind of vetting procedures do you do for members to confirm they are actually are eligible to serve on this controversial community oversight board?

Murdock: Well two of the major players  I’ve reached out to have been the vice mayor and I have also because he directly overseas a lot of this process with the appointments for this board. And then I’ve also reached out to the Executive Director Jill Fitcheard.

Leahy: Jill Fitcheard became the executive director when the previous executive director resigned in 2019 because it was too stressful for him. And so she’s served since 2019. The appointment of Ovid Timothy Hughes came under her watch it. So you would think because she served as a criminal investigator from 2008 to 2019 for the public defender that she would have knowledge about how to investigate people’s claims.

Murdock: Yeah, she hasn’t responded to me. Initially, she took my call. But then when she learned of what I relayed to her that he was potentially not a registered voter and it’s gone radio silence since then.

Leahy: You called her on Monday?

Murdock: No, last week.

Leahy: Last week you called her. Tell us what you asked in that conversation.

Murdock: I said were you aware that he is potentially not a registered voter? It appears that he might be a convicted felon. Were you aware of any of his criminal background and history?

Leahy: Him being Ovid Timothy Hughes who had resigned just a couple of days earlier from the community oversight board. And what was her response?

Murdock: She seemed a little shocked. To summary of our conversation, she said she wasn’t aware and she referred me to the clerk to get his resignation letter And that’s the last I’ve heard from her.

Leahy: So what did Ovid Timothy Hughes say in his resignation letter?

Murdock: Pretty much a couple of sentences saying thank you for everything. I’m resigning. it was very short. It was an it was in an email to the current chair. I think his name is Andres. I have to go back and look.

Leahy: Yeah, I think it’s what Andres Martinez or something like that.

Murdock: Yes.

Leahy: So he’s the chairman of it. He’s a volunteer member. This community oversight board authorized by a referendum approved by the voters in 2018. 58 percent to 42 percent, under the charter. they can do that. The law the state law allows Community oversight boards to investigate police misconduct.

They have taken that and gone far beyond that. And they’re looking into all sorts of ways to undermine the police by in my view, not yours, to constantly talk about allegations of systemic racism. And you know how it’s got to be changed, etc., etc. Seems to be a bunch of social justice warriors trying to undermine the police. Now, what’s interesting to me is that you did get one response late last night you said from somebody.

Murdock: I did. The Vice Mayor reached out to me.

Leahy: Vice-Mayor Shulman?

Murdock: Yes. And he said he’d reach out to me and said yes, he would be willing to speak but he didn’t respond to my questions. He said he would be willing to speak today.

Leahy: Okay. So this will be clever to see how he responds. What were your questions?

Murdock: So I asked him about their vetting process a little bit. I said, were you aware that of his criminal history?

Leahy: Of Ovid Timothy Hughes criminal history.

Murdock: Yes. Ovid Timothy Hughes criminal history. And also do you have any indication as to why he resigned because his letter didn’t state anything. And does your office knows any more information than what Ovid Timothy Hughes has already stated. And could you speak on the vetting process behind the board members that are granted the responsibility of overseeing police misconduct? And he simply said that he apologized for the delay in response and he asked if we wanted to talk today.

Leahy: Okay, so you are going to have a conversation with them. And we’ll see if he’ll be forthcoming. The other question I think to ask is are you going to confirm for a fact that everybody who serves is a registered voter? And the other thing is are you going to change your processes so that the information that they provide in their questionnaire and in their testimony before the Metro council is sworn so that if they tell a lie it is perjury. That’d be an interesting question to ask. We’ll see what the answers are tomorrow.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Nashville City Hall” by euthman. CC BY-SA 2.0.










The Tennessee Star’s Own Corinne Murdock Unable to Verify Previous Background Claims of COB’s Executive Director Fitcheard

The Tennessee Star’s Own Corinne Murdock Unable to Verify Previous Background Claims of COB’s Executive Director Fitcheard


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed investigative reporter for The Tennessee Star Corinne Murdock in the studio to discuss what she’s not found in relation to the background claims of Nashville’s Community Oversight Board Executive Director Jill Fitcheard.

Leahy: We are with our ace investigative reporter at The Tennessee Star Corrine Murdock. Corrine, you are a seeker of the truth. You’re a reporter of facts. Now, there’s something very interesting as we look for the truth and we look for facts. Jill Fitcheard is the executive director of the community oversight board, whom you spoke with last week. She was shocked and shocked that apparently the recently resigned member Ovid Timothy Hughes was a convicted felon who is not eligible by law to serve on that board because he was not a registered voter. You asked her if she knew about that and she said…

Murdock: She just was taken aback. She didn’t answer yes or no. She just said oh.

Leahy: So she was taken aback.

Murdock: That’s what I meant by a little shocked.

Leahy: Ah, okay. So we don’t know if she was aware of the fact that he was not a registered voter and not eligible or just hadn’t looked into it. A curious thing because she’s the executive director responsible for everything. How long did it take you to discover once you looked into him that he was a convicted felon and not a registered voter.

Murdock: A couple of hours.

Leahy: Two hours of work. Okay, a couple of hours to find that out. She’s paid to you know manage this process and apparently didn’t have a couple of hours to find out if this nominee was qualified for the board. I guess she took him at his word. I suppose you can do that. She was the head of investigation for 11 years at the Nashville Public Defender’s Office. You would think she would have looked at that. Now you got curious about this. I think we’re asking all the members of the board and the other 10 members if they are registered voters. Have any of them responded to us?

Murdock: I’ve asked a couple and none of them have yet.

Leahy: They’re not interested in talking to you.

Murdock: Right?

Leahy: Okay, I think it’s a fair question if we’ve demonstrated that one member of the board was not eligible and lied about whether he was eligible. He lied by telling the Metro Council that he was a registered voter. Apparently, you can do that if your social justice warrior, you can lie. What’s interesting about this is so it got us interested in the biographical claims of everybody associated with the community oversight board. One, in particular, caught our attention. Tell us about that. We are talking about Jill Fitcheard and her claims on her bio with the Metro government and her prior service as a police officer. Tell us about what she claimed and whether or not we’ve been able to verify that.

Murdock: Well, she claimed that she was for a number of years at an officer in the Metro D.C. police department. And I have reached out to Metro D.C. Police Department to verify this fact but I haven’t heard back yet. I also haven’t heard back from Jill herself to verify this background or the Metro Clerk that I reached out to inquire about her background and application.

Leahy: The Metro Clerk here in Nashville because it would be an open records request to show his biography of what her claim was. Now she states on her biography and we’re not saying this isn’t true. And we’re just saying corroborated because obviously, she has a track record of not corroborating the biographies and resumes of people that serve on the community oversight board.

Murdock: It’s a little disconcerting that a member of a board that is supposed to hold police accountable wasn’t held accountable. So I think it’s just a natural thing to want to verify everything at this point.

Leahy: Yeah just natural. And so Jill Fitcheard if you’re listening or anybody associated with Jill Fitcheard we will make our lead story the evidence that you present about your claim service as a police officer at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department. She claims to have worked in patrol, narcotics, and special investigations in Special Operations.

Now one thing that caught our attention is that she moved to Nashville in 1996 when she would have been 27 years old. In a very short period of time, she would have done a lot according to your claim at the Washington Metro Police Department. And she didn’t continue serving as a police officer in Nashville. She went to Tennessee State instead. It’s curious to me. That’s all I’m saying. We’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and I’m sure that she will be rushing to her phone and email to communicate with you Corrine to provide the dates that she served as a Metro Police officer in Washington D.C.

Murdock: And from what little digging I could do I couldn’t find a lot on her which was interesting. I couldn’t find basic background information and I don’t know why that is.

Leahy: These are just questions that actually the people ought to know. And clearly Jill Fitcheard you’re welcome to come on anytime and provide us the evidence that you served as a Metro Police Department police officer in Washington D.C. The other question is does it matter if there’s no corroboration provided for this. I mean it’s presented as a qualification. I think if I listened to her, I’ve listened to some of her talks she doesn’t sound to me like somebody who was a former police officer. She doesn’t sound that way to me.

Murdock: I was going to say we were having a conversation about this and usually when someone takes opposition to something that they were previously involved in they normally have some kind of disillusionment story and usually they’ll explain why they feel the way they do having been where they came from and their background. Especially as a police officer. If you are critical of police officers and maybe the conduct there must be a disillusionment story there. Something that you saw or something that happened to you. And from what we’ve been discussing we haven’t seen that.

Leahy: That’s a logical question from what she says now about police conduct if she’s served as a police officer. And you phrased it just the right way. There must be a disillusionment story. We’d like to hear what that is from her claim that she served in the Washington D.C. Metro Police Department as a police officer in the early 90s. We’d like to hear what that is. I don’t know. When the phone doesn’t ring we know it’s Jill Fitcheard to give us an answer. Well, maybe she will. We’ll see. We’ll see.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio