Three years after she resigned in disgrace over the death of a fellow inmate, former Corrections Secretary Kurt Law had her arrested for obstruction of justice.
But her lawyers claim she was merely trying to cover up a botched suicide attempt in 2003.
Law is now suing former Gov.
Tate Reeves over the incident, claiming he lied to her and ordered the arrest of her.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Nashville, alleges Reeves lied to Law about her death in a “cover-up of her death,” according to the Tennessean.
Law was the state’s chief prison administrator when she was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for murder in a 2007 standoff in which she and another woman killed two men in the woods.
The suit says Reeves told the woman, Ashley Johnson, that her death was a suicide and that he “made her take a lie detector test.”
“Reeves and Johnson concocted a story about a failed suicide attempt to cover it up, and the lie detector was never performed,” the lawsuit said.
Reevas “did not do this in any way as an act of spite, but was merely acting on the information he had learned about the death,” the suit said.
“I have no doubt that the governor’s actions were motivated by greed,” Reeves’ lawyer, Richard M. DeBruyn, said in a statement.
Rees’ attorney, Michael Meehan, said he was unaware of the lawsuit.
Law, 59, is seeking $20 million in compensatory damages and an unspecified amount in punitive damages.
In the lawsuit, Reeves’ attorneys allege that Law knew Johnson’s story was false, but failed to report it to Reeves.
“The governor’s office deliberately lied to Governor Reeves to conceal his knowledge that Ms. Johnson fabricated her account of her own death,” DeBryons attorneys said.
The state has previously filed lawsuits in state and federal courts against Reeves for wrongful death, but this lawsuit marks the first time that Reeves has sued the governor.
The suit names Reeves, the Tennessee Democratic Party, former Govs.
Mark Hutchison and Mike Caldwell, and former Corrections Director Charles Smith.
Reezers office has not responded to a request for comment.