Rutherford County mayor, residents react to Sheriff Arnold's charges


News of Sheriff Robert Arnold's indictments was the talk of some residents in downtown Murfreesboro Friday.

The Rutherford County sheriff, his former administrative chief deputy, Joe Russell, and the sheriff’s uncle were arrested on conspiracy and corruption charges. A federal grand jury handed down a 14-count indictment Thursday accusing the men of making a profit off selling electronic cigarettes to inmates through a company called JailCigs.

"It's very, very troublesome," said Rutherford County Mayor Ernest G. Burgess."It's very difficult for every single one of us trying to hold the highest standard that we possibly can, for something like this to happen, it's not good for anyone in Rutherford County."

"I just hope people of Rutherford County will see what's going on," said resident Samuel Duncan.

"I think the citizens of Murfreesboro are losing faith in their government," Vernon Frazier added.

"They take their justice out of power and use too much power and think it's OK," Max Jones said.

"I just think it's good that it's not getting swept under the rug because he's in the law," Olivia Dillon said.

"Unless the sheriff decides to resign or unless he goes into the court process and is convicted, he stays sheriff," Burgess said.

"I think he should resign just for the security of Murfreesboro citizens and knowing justice is being handed down," Frazier said. "Fourteen indictments against you, it's time to step away from the sheriff's duties and focus on the upcoming duties in court."

Burgess added he has heard the calls from within the community and certain county commissioners for Arnold to resign.

"That appears to me to be something, an option, that should be seriously considered," he said.

Burgess added his primary interest is making sure the heads of all departments are working together for the best of the community. He said he'll continue to work with Sheriff Arnold while he holds his title.

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Multimedia Journalist

Forrest Sanders is an award-winning reporter, videographer and editor at News4.

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