Email confirms TBI investigation into sheriff - WSMV Channel 4

Email confirms TBI investigation into sheriff

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LAFAYETTE, TN (WSMV) -

An email from a TBI agent confirms the agency has launched a criminal investigation into Macon County Sheriff Mark Gammons.

The email, sent to attorney Roland Mumford, from the TBI agent reads, "I have been informed that General Thompson's office will conduct an investigation into the allegations and circumstances in Macon County and will request TBI assist with this investigation. I will be the agent assigned to assist his office and you may contact me with any future questions or concerns."

"This is about seeking the truth, prompting public integrity," Mumford said.

The TBI investigation follows a series of Channel 4 I-Team investigations that exposed audio from a meeting and from a recorded conversation with Gammons that raised questions if he was politically threatening employees.

Our investigation also found surveillance video that appears to show county employees, in county vehicles, picking up the sheriff's campaign signs.

Attorney David Raybin, who helped draft the state's criminal code, believes the video shows a violation of the state's Hatch Act, and that could prompt a criminal charge.

"The criminal misconduct statute is pretty stout, that if you use your office for personal gain, that this may have been. You violate that statute, it's a criminal offense," Raybin said.

However, Gammons isn't without supporters.

Since our investigations have aired, several residents of Macon County have emailed the I-Team stating that they stand behind the sheriff and believe he's done a lot to help the county.

We've repeatedly asked the sheriff to comment on our latest findings, but he hasn't returned our calls.

Mumford, who is leading a citizen lawsuit to remove Gammons from office, said he's been providing the TBI information since our investigation started airing.

"There has been an informal investigation, but now, there is a formal criminal investigation of Sheriff Gammons," Mumford said.

The TBI would not comment on the email, and a spokesman stated that they have not received a formal written letter from district attorney Tommy Thompson.

An assistant to Thompson said he was out of county preparing for a trial.

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