RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Rutherford County Ethics Committee was on a fact finding mission Thursday night surrounding the investigation of Sheriff Robert Arnold.
One committee member said they aren’t blood thirsty, but they want answers.
The committee heard from newly hired attorney John Bobo, who says the committee has done what they should have done by recommending the district attorney investigate, which ultimately lead to the TBI, FBI, and state comptroller’s office investigations.
Sheriff Arnold’s home and office were raided by agents last week. Authorities collected documents and digital evidence in the case. See photos of the scene here.
“The ethics committee’s scope under both the ethics policy of Rutherford County and the general law is extremely limited as to what they can do,” Bobo said.
One interesting thing that came up in the meeting was the sheriff has said publicly that he got the blessing from the county attorney for JailCigs to cell their e-cigarettes in the jail, but Bobo told the committee he has heard of emails where the county attorney did not sign off on it.
One commissioner echoed that statement.
“I haven’t seen the emails but I heard very early in that he did not receive approval,” said commissioner Rhonda Allen.
However, Bobo said the committee doesn’t have any power to subpoena emails. The committee also does not want to contaminate the evidence that might be a part of the state and federal investigation.
The oust Sheriff Arnold group says the sheriff should put himself on leave until state and federal officials conclude their investigation.
“We don’t feel that he can adequately do his job, and there is a level of trust there is lost,” said Jacob Bogle with Oust Sheriff Arnold.
The sheriff did have a few supporters in the audience, including Richard Sibert.
“If you are without sin, cast the first stone, and I don’t think any of us are without some sin,” he said.
Bobo also recommended the 10 citizens who filed the ouster suit against the sheriff should wait until the investigation is done.