Rutherford County Chief Deputy of Administration Joe Russell fired

Courtesy: Rutherford County Sheriff's Office
Courtesy: Rutherford County Sheriff's Office

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – There have been a lot of twists and turns at the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, including a letter sent by Commissioner Robert Stevens questioning why RSCO Chief Deputy of Administration Joe Russell and Warrants Major Terry McBurney haven’t been terminated.

Russeell has been at the center of an investigation alongside Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold for their role with JailCigs, a Georgia-based company that sells e-cigarettes to inmates, including those at the Rutherford County jail.

On Thursday, Russell was fired from his position.

A letter was sent to him from Chief Deputy Randy Garrett, stating his termination was effective immediately.

“We’re making some progress. We’re making some changes,” Rutherford County Mayor Earnest Burgess told News 2.

McBurney filed for FMLA Wednesday after a comptroller’s report, but it’s not guaranteed he’ll receive it. He is also still in jeopardy of being fired.

“There are some means and mechanisms in the process that may allow a termination even in a FMLA request,” explained Mayor Burgess. “With the seriousness of those findings, it was not a surprise he was indicted.”

That’s not the only issue plaguing Rutherford County. There was a scathing report about the certification of the jail after it failed inspection.

There have been several suicides at the facility.

“Not a huge number of those incidences but enough of those that they did not feel that we did enough to yet properly correct those in its entirety,” Burgess said.

News 2 spoke with employees at the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office who are doing everything by the book helping to protect the citizens of Rutherford County. They are hoping this dark cloud of controversy looming over the sheriff’s office doesn’t cast a shadow on them.