Meet Phil's Fixer

NASHVILLE, TENN. -- As the campaign winds down, it's important to keep an eye out for any last minute eyebrow-raising activity. In that vein, the Tennessee Republican Party encourages you to not forget about Phil's Fixer, Dave Cooley.


Cooley's Rap Sheet

Honorary Highway Trooper

  • Cooley gave out “honorary” Tennessee Highway Patrol ID’s to friends and celebrities to get them out of trouble with law enforcement
    • “The photo ID is an exact replica of a Tennessee trooper's ID - only the word ‘honorary’ at the bottom of the card sets it apart.”
    • “Since 2002, the badge has gone to 360 people, including sports stars and entertainers, plus 19 current and former staffers and appointees of Gov. Phil Bredesen, [and] three relatives of Deputy Gov. Dave Cooley.” (“Honorary Trooper Badges Cause Stir,” The Associated Press, 8/8/05)

Phil's Patronage Peddler

  • As Deputy Governor to Phil Bredesen, Cooley flashed his business card to get out of a speeding ticket (“Cooley Issued ‘Formal Reprimand’ For Ticket Dismissal,” Knoxville News Sentinel, 9/21/04)

  • Then Cooley denied a promotion to the state trooper, Lt. Ronnie Shirley, who got the ticket dismissed. (“Link Between Dropped Ticket, Promotion Denied,” The Associated Press, 11/19/05)

  • That same state trooper was exposed in 2008 for conducting unauthorized background checks on 180 private citizen. (“Second Investigation Focuses On Trooper,” Knoxville News Sentinel, 8/14/08)
  • Cooley made sure to take care of his friends: two thirds of promotions at the Tennessee Highway Patrol went to those who made political donations to Bredesen’s campaign (Editorial, “A Troubled Highway Patrol,” Chattanooga Times Free Press, 1/2/06)

  • Cooley even got sued by multiple troopers who said they were fired for not supporting Bredesen

    • (“Former Trooper Files $25 Million Suit Citing Politics Behind His Dismissal,” Knoxville News Sentinel, 2/11/05)

    • (“THP Dispatcher Files Lawsuit Over Job Loss,” Knoxville News Sentinel, 7/16/05)

Shredesen Enabler

Cooley made sure Bredesen staff accused of sexual harassment got to stay in state government:

  • “Deputy Gov. Dave Cooley intervened last year to arrange a new job for a state official without telling the man's new supervisors of sexual harassment accusations against him” (“Cooley Arranged Official’s Transfer,” The Associated Press, 12/22/05)

Cooley's cousin was one of the officials who shredded the notes of sexual assault investigations of Bredesen’s staff:

  • “During his stop in Chattanooga, Gov. Bredesen faced complaints from a small group of Hamilton County Republican Party members, who held up signs that stated ‘Ethics starts with you Governor,’ ‘Give meaningful punishment’ and ‘Stop shredding documents.’ The document sign was a reference to a high-ranking Tennessee Department of Personnel official, a cousin of Deputy Gov. Dave Cooley, who shredded notes related to a sexual harassment case.” (Andy Sher and Ashley Rowland, “GOP Resolution Targeting Crutchfield, Bowers Fails,” Chattanooga Times Free Press, 1/13/06)