Rutherford Co. commissioner calls on sheriff to resign - WSMV Channel 4

Rutherford Co. commissioner calls on sheriff to resign

Posted: Updated: Apr 30, 2015 10:32 PM
MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

Some Rutherford County officials are calling on Sheriff Robert Arnold to resign following a number of revelations in the sheriff's office.

The Channel 4 I-Team found Arnold's relatives running a business that makes money off inmates and contracts county officials knew nothing about.

Rutherford County Commissioner Michael Kusch said the situation is an embarrassment. He said the drama is moving beyond the sheriff's department and tainting the entire county.

"I would be glad to go on the record to say I wish he would step down," Kusch said. "I've had so many people call me, constituents call me saying this gives the county a bad name."

Arnold came under fire in recent weeks after the I-Team uncovered his tied to JailCigs, a company selling electronic cigarettes to inmates in the county jail.

Arnold admitted his relatives own the company and his wife is a part-time employee. Documents also revealed Arnold's finance deputy is a part-owner of the business.

Since then, the I-Team has uncovered two other questionable jail contracts.

"I don't expect him to go down without a fight," said Steve Lane, a Rutherford County resident.

Lane described himself as a concerned citizen. Thursday, he and several others filed a formal complaint with the Rutherford County Commission's Ethics Committee.

They also think Arnold should step down.

"I think he should," Lane said. "I find it highly unlikely he will."

Officials did not address the issue at Thursday's commission meeting. According to some, it should stay that way for now.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced Wednesday they will open an investigation.

"As a county commission, we have to see what the results are," Rutherford County Commissioner Pettus Read said.

The county attorney would not comment on the issue.

Channel 4 reached out to the sheriff's office in an attempt to speak to Arnold, but did not hear back.

County officials confirmed the state comptroller's office is investigating this case.

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