(Times Free Press) -- Shakedowns, ripoffs, lying in court and manipulating the justice system are staples of television drama. But when it's the good guys allegedly offering false testimony, trampling on defendants' rights in court cases where lives are on the line and misspending taxpayer money, who's going to come to the rescue?

The Times Free Press spent more than seven months investigating allegations common in legal and law enforcement circles in the 10th Judicial District of Bradley, McMinn, Monroe and Polk counties.

Among them: Under District Attorney General R. Steven Bebb, the prosecutor's office botched important cases through ineptness or misconduct, misused taxpayer money and played favorites in criminal prosecutions.

The 10th District's drug task force, which supports itself almost entirely from cash and property seized in drug cases, has been involved in enough questionable dealings that two state legislators are working on laws to rein it in.

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.