Lewis Co. sheriff under TBI investigation over inmate labor - WSMV Channel 4

Lewis Co. sheriff under TBI investigation over inmate labor

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HOHENWALD, TN (WSMV) -

The Lewis County sheriff says he has nothing to hide after he was accused of using county inmates to do his personal chores, but the sheriff says it's all because of a misunderstanding.

Dwayne Kilpatrick has been the sheriff in Lewis County for 20 years, and there are a lot of people who stand by his side. Still, a state investigation is looking into whether he abused his power.

Inmates housed in Tennessee county jails mow grass, pick up trash from the sides of roads and even chop wood all the time. It is allowed under the law.

But what is not allowed is when a sheriff has inmates work for his personal benefit, profit or gain.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has reason to suspect Kilpatrick took advantage of his position, but many folks in Hohenwald do not.

The TBI can't elaborate on where the alleged abuse of power took place or when. They can't say much until the investigation is complete.

The sheriff tells Channel 4 News he had inmates work on a tractor that the county later purchased. This investigation, he says, is based on misinformation.

The district attorney originally asked for this investigation on the sheriff, and she has since recused herself from the case.

Now, the TBI is waiting to obtain a special prosecutor, and they say the investigation is ongoing.

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