Ouster suit filed to remove Macon County sheriff - WSMV News 4

Ouster suit filed to remove Macon County sheriff

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LAFAYETTE, TN (WSMV) -

Citizens of Macon County signed a lawsuit asking a judge to remove Sheriff Mark Gammons from office following a series of Channel 4 I-Team investigations.

Emily Santes was among the plaintiffs, and knows her signature on the lawsuit will earn her enemies.

"I've lost several friends over this situation," Santes said. "He (Gammons) is an elected official who continues to break the law."

Attorney Roland Mumford drafted the suit that cites malfeasance or neglect of duty as the cause for removing Gammons from office.

"No one is above the law," said David Gunter, a retired sheriff's department employee.

The lawsuit cites video and audio recordings first exposed by the Channel 4 I-Team.

Among our findings, secretly recorded audio of the sheriff, in a meeting, that raised questions if he was sending his employees a message: support me politically, or lose your jobs.

In the recording, you can hear the sheriff say, "If you can't support me, that's fine. It's hard to support you and sign your check."

The lawsuit also mentions the firings of four employees, who claim their families supported Gammons' opponent in the election.

One of the former employees, Josh Smith, recorded a conversation between he and Gammons.

In the recording, Smith said, "I just don't want my job in jeopardy because of what my dad does."

Gammons can be heard saying, "I'm going to remember this, OK?"

Our investigation also exposed surveillance video that appears to show deputies and detectives picking up the sheriff's campaign signs in county vehicles while on the clock.

"On taxpayer dime, used government equipment. He used our deputies, who are supposed to be defending us, to go run his errands. I think it is absolutely ridiculous," Santes said.

Gammons did speak with the I-Team for our first story, claiming he wasn't threatening his employees.

"But it wasn't to threaten them and saying, ‘Go do this for me or I'm going to fire you.' That was no intention," Gammons said.

Since then, Gammons hasn't returned our calls for comment.

A vehicle was in the sheriff's parking spot, but a secretary said he wasn't there.

The I-Team then called what we were told is a personal cell phone number. Someone answered, and we asked for the sheriff and identified ourselves.

"I'm sorry, you have the chief deputy. He's not available at the moment," said the person who answered the phone.

We asked to speak with Gammons, and were told they would try to locate him. We said he would hang on the phone, and then the call ended.

"I've always said that when there's some kind of corruption with our government, we have to stand up to do something to change it," Santes said.

The lawsuit also makes other claims, including that a former deputy intends to testify under oath that he drove the sheriff to different homes to have intimate relations with women.

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