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VOL. 39 | NO. 21 | Friday, May 22, 2015

Warrants executed on Rutherford Co. Sheriff's Office, home

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MURFREESBORO (AP) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and FBI executed search warrants at the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office and the sheriff's home on Thursday amid a public corruption probe.

TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said in a statement that the warrants are part of an ongoing investigation into possible public corruption involving multiple targets within the sheriff's department.

DeVine said he couldn't discuss specifics because of the continuing investigation. However, no immediate charges were expected, according to the TBI.

A spokeswoman at the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office referred all inquiries to the TBI.

Last month, the TBI confirmed it was looking into connections between Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold and his family members who own companies that sell electronic cigarettes and snacks to inmates at the county jail.

JailCigs is owned by Arnold's aunt and uncle. Records show the couple owns another company called JailSnacks, which sells snacks to inmates.

Arnold previously disclosed on a state ethics form that his wife works part-time for JailCigs. But Arnold told WSMV-TV last month that he did not know that his chief deputy, who is also his next-door neighbor, owns that company along with Arnold's aunt and uncle.

"I'm kind of shocked about that," Arnold said at the time.

He also told the station he would probably stop allowing the sales of JailCigs' electronic cigarettes in his jail.

JailCigs is supposed to give the sheriff's department a cut of its profits, but county finance officials told the station they had never seen those checks. If the company were not paying a portion of its profits to the county, that would mean more money for the company and its owners.

Chief Deputy Joe Russell is in charge of the sheriff's department's finances, so he would have any records of checks from the company. Russell could not be reached for comment.

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TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0