Rutherford sheriff faces ethics complaint (along with TBI probe)

A formal ethics complaint is the latest problem for Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold, already under investigation by the TBI and the state comptroller’s office for ties to businesses selling articles at the county jail he operates.

From the Daily News Journal:

Joe Liggett, Steve Lane and Jacob Bogle, filed the formal complaint with the (county) ethics committee, accusing Arnold of misconduct and conflict of interest in regards to an electronic-cigarette vendor.

“We request the ethics committee investigate the attached information,” the complaint stated. Attached to the complaint were various news reports about the relationship of Arnold and a chief deputy to the Georgia-based JailCigs company.

Records from the state of Georgia obtained by The Daily News Journal show members of Arnold’s family own the company in Georgia that sells e-cigarettes to jail inmates.

The company is also owned by Joe Russell, the RCSO chief deputy of administration and finance, according to records on the Georgia secretary of state’s website. Records obtained by The Daily News Journal also show Russell used his work email to conduct business involving the JailCigs company.

The county ethics complaint comes in the wake of investigations by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office. Jennings Jones, district attorney for the 16th Judicial District that includes Rutherford and Cannon counties, requested the state investigations.