The Lawrence County sheriff and one of his deputies have been arrested after being indicted on Thursday by the Lawrence County Grand Jury.
Lawrence County Sheriff Jimmy Brown, 71, was arrested after being indicted on two counts of official misconduct, one count of use of inmate labor for personal gain and one count of tampering with evidence.
Lawrence County Capt. Adam Brewer, 40, was charged with one count of official misconduct.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury began the investigation at the request of District Attorney General Brent Cooper on Tuesday.RELATED DOCUMENTS: Comptroller's ReportDuring the investigation, agents determined that from 2015 through 2017 Brown allowed inmates to be used for labor by various county employees at their personal residence or for personal business.
The investigation also showed that Brown used his position as sheriff to circumvent the bond process for some arrested individuals, releasing them from jail without requiring them to pay the bond as ordered by the judge.
The Comptroller’s Office said Brown and his jail administrator allowed inmates to leave the jail improperly. Some of the inmates were dropped off at public locations and only checked on when the supervising individual had time.
Other inmates were granted furloughs without proper authorization by a judge. Another inmate was “loaned out” to sheriff’s department management and staff to help with chores at their personal properties, according to the Comptroller’s office.
The investigation also revealed that Brown violated multiple laws in his handling of a confiscated still and moonshine. The seized items were not properly documented in the evidence log and the sheriff told investigators that he poured the moonshine out prior to the court ordering its destruction.
According to the Comptroller’s report, Brown had a duty to arrest the suspects involved in the case, however, he did not make any arrests since he felt the family had “enough trouble elsewhere.”
The investigation also found that Brewer falsified time sheets and misled investigators as to the accuracy of the reported hours worked at the sheriff’s department. The Comptroller’s office said Brewer falsified his time sheet saying he worked on Sept. 16, 2016, when he was actually in Florida on a personal trip in his Lawrence County assigned vehicle.
The Comptroller’s investigation also found that Brewer exceeded his authority when he allowed two Lawrence County deputies to take extended sick leave from the Sheriff’s Department while they worked a second job at the Saint Joseph Police Department. Brewer is also the Saint Joseph Chief of Police.
“In addition to the problems already described, we also found several problems with how time sheets and leave balances where handled by the Sheriff’s department,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson in a news release. “The department should follow its own personnel policies and ensure accurate time sheets are submitted and approved.”
Bond for Brown was set at $25,000. Brewer’s bond was set at $5,000.
Brown is currently on the ballot for re-election for another four-year term in August.
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