Black Keys Manager Did Not Commit Crime, DA Says
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The manager of the rock band The Black Keys and country singer Eric Church did not break any law with a ticket offer to a witness during a Tennessee legislative committee hearing, according to the district attorney.
Davidson County District Attorney General Torry Johnson notified legislative leaders of his decision in a letter sent Thursday, putting to rest a controversy that erupted back in March over the actions of manager Fielding Logan.
"From my review of the materials that have been gathered, I do not believe there is any reason for a further investigation into this incident," Johnson wrote in the letter to Senate Commerce Committee chairman Jack Johnson, R-Franklin.
"It appears at best to be an innocent misunderstanding or at worst a dispute between two persons on opposite sides of a legislative issue."
Logan testified back in March in favor of legislation pushed by Ticketmaster and other industry leaders to restrict the activities of professional ticket scalpers. Nashville attorney John Ray Clemmons opposed the bill because of fears that the provisions would hamper the ability of non-profits, like one he heads, to raise money by auctioning off tickets.
Legislative cameras captured an exchange between the two men that Clemmons, in a letter to the Senate chairman, characterized as being an offer of tickets to an upcoming Black Keys concert in Nashville.
After Clemmons' complaint, Senate leaders referred the matter to Johnson's office. According to Johnson's letter, the DA asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to interview Clemmons. Logan's attorney also provided a statement to investigators.
"I do not believe the facts clearly establish that Mr. Logan was attempting to 'corruptly influence' the testimony of Mr. Clemmons," Johnson wrote.
"Mr. Logan believed he was demonstrating to Mr. Clemmons that he (Mr. Clemmons) was incorrect on his view of how the proposed statute would adversely impact non-profits. For his part, Mr. Clemmons believed that the offer of tickets by Mr. Logan was an effort for Mr. Clemmons to change his testimony although the intent was unexpressed."
Johnson added that the did not believe a crime had been committed and expressed his belief that "this dispute and any subsequent action should be addressed to the sound discretion of the General Assembly."
The ticketing legislation at the center of the dispute was eventually put off until next year.