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VOL. 40 | NO. 53 | Friday, December 30, 2016

Jailed sheriff to face ouster trial if acquitted of crimes

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NASHVILLE (AP) - A jailed Tennessee sheriff accused of profiting from the sale of electronic cigarettes to inmates will face a civil trial if a jury acquits him during a February criminal trial.

Davidson County Chancellor William Young decided during a hearing Tuesday that Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold's two-day ouster trial would take place in his Nashville courtroom on April 10, The Daily News Journal of Murfreesboro reported (http://on.dnj.com/2im5rbz).

The ouster trial would not occur if the jury finds Arnold guilty in the criminal case, since he would already have been removed from office.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the ouster lawsuit - 12 Davidson County residents - convinced the chancellor last month to suspend Arnold without pay from his duties, pending the outcome of the ouster trial.

Arnold, his uncle John Vanderveer, and Joe Russell, a recently fired sheriff's administration chief, face a 14-count feder al indictment accusing them of illegally profiting from inmates in Murfreesboro through the sale of electronic cigarettes offered by the JailCigs business. The defendants pleaded not guilty in May.

In September, a federal magistrate judge sent Arnold to jail until a February trial because there was probable cause he committed domestic violence against his wife while free on bond.

A Republican elected in August 2010, Arnold is in his second four-year term and had been receiving a $127,078 annual salary.

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