The Tennessee voucher bill passed by only one vote. There was a delay in getting that last vote. Charges flew that the vote was swayed by more than reason. The FBI started an investigation, and the legislator was just called to appear before a grand jury.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Republican lawmaker who cast the decisive vote for Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s school voucher plan has been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury next week, NewsChannel 5 has learned.

Two independent sources with knowledge of the investigation tell NewsChannel 5 Investigates that Rep. Jason Zachary, R-Knoxville, is among a group of House Republicans who were served with federal grand jury subpoenas this week. That group includes House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville.

Zachary refused to comment as he entered the House session Thursday morning.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates was first to reveal the latest round of subpoenas delivered Tuesday…

The investigation of corruption on Tennessee’s Capitol Hill comes against the backdrop of apparently ongoing interest by the FBI in how then-Speaker Casada managed to pass Lee’s plan to create a school voucher program, known as Educational Savings Accounts, to pay for private school tuition in Davidson and Shelby counties.

In April 2019, a House vote on Lee’s voucher bill failed on a 49-49 tie vote.

Casada held the vote open for some 45 minutes while he sought the decisive 50th vote.

Zachary eventually switched his vote after Lee’s team agreed to exempt Knox County from the legislation. Zachary later denied that he was offered anything improper for his vote.

Still, in May 2019, NewsChannel 5 Investigates revealed that FBI agents had shown an interest in that vote, showing up unannounced at the home of one GOP House member.

That lawmaker, who asked not to be identified, said agents wanted to know about campaign contributions offered to support the reelection efforts of those willing to vote for the bill.

In July 2019, Rep. John Mark Windle, D-Livingston, confirmed information obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates that another lawmaker had overheard Casada suggesting that — in exchange for his vote — Windle could be promoted to the rank of general in the Tennessee National Guard.

Windle, an Iraq war veteran who was a colonel in the Guard, refused to switch his vote, saying in a statement that his vote was “not for sale.”

Other lawmakers told NewsChannel 5 Investigates about talk of incentives and even threats.