Robert Arnold’s cousin fired from Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office

(Courtesy: Rutherford County Sheriff's Department)

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – There’s more shake-up at the Rutherford County jail as the cousin of Sheriff Robert Arnold has been fired.

Patrolman James Vanderveer, who hasn’t been without controversy, was told his services were no longer needed Wednesday after totaling his patrol car last month.

You may recall he was the officer seen on jailhouse video pepper spraying an inmate while he was restrained.

Vanderveer was giving his walking papers Wednesday after being involved in his third at-fault crash in a year and a half, totaling his patrol car.

After the latest crash, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said the cause was “careless, erratic driving.”

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

Vanderveer was first hired by Sheriff Arnold back in 2011. He resigned shortly before he was arrested for driving under the influence.

Two years later, Arnold rehired his cousin.

Vanderveer only received a written warning in 2013 after he pepper sprayed inmate Demario Harris who was in a restraint chair.

That lead to a federal lawsuit, and the case was settled for $68,151.

News 2 checked Vanderveer’s personnel file and discovered he recently received another written warning after failing to report to roll call on December 2, 2016. He sent a text saying he would be late for work.

Apparently he was involved in a wreck in his personal vehicle, and while still on the scene, he telephoned dispatchers checking himself in but said he was busy in Zone 5.

(Courtesy: Rutherford County Sheriff's Department)
(Courtesy: Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department)

In July 2015, he was suspended without pay for not reporting a wreck he had in his patrol car. He claimed he backed into a log and the damage was minor.

He was also disciplined for having what appeared to be several days of trash in his patrol car, including an empty milk jug.

Vanderveer, who lives in the sheriff’s house, was on duty on Labor Day and was summoned there after Arnold was accused of domestic violence against his wife.

The Osborne Lane home is in the city limits, and Murfreesboro police should have been called.

Now that the sheriff is locked up awaiting his federal trial, those who are currently in charge at the RCSO continue to clean house.

Originally, supervisors suggested Vanderveer be suspended for four days without pay.

An assistant chief says since he has a continued pattern of non-compliance regarding policies, he was recommended for termination.