Tag Archives: mcminn

Grand Jurors Question How Sheriff Dodged Indictment in Campaign Finance Case

Two McMinn County grand jurors in 2010 complained to an investigator that the jury foreman and an assistant district attorney tried to influence their votes in a politically fraught case, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
The grand jury in July of that year voted not to indict sheriff candidate Joe Guy for campaign finance violations. Guy went on to win the election and is now McMinn County sheriff.
Later, two grand jurors told an investigator they felt improper influence was brought to bear in the jury room by foreman Joel Riley and Paul Rush, assistant district attorney in the 10th Judicial District.
No action was taken, records show. None of the other 10 grand jurors who sat on the case was interviewed, and the investigation was closed.
But both grand jurors told the Times Free Press they still believe Riley and Rush tried to influence their votes.
…The initial complaint alleged that a woman who worked for Gentry and Joe Guy told family members that Guy had given her and her husband cash and asked them to write him checks as campaign contributions.
The initial complaint alleged that a woman who worked for Gentry and Joe Guy told family members that Guy had given her and her husband cash and asked them to write him checks as campaign contributions.
Guy’s statement was slightly different. He told Haynes that Joy Early had come to him with the small contributions. He said he believed they were from deputies and others who didn’t want Frisbie to know they were giving to Guy.

TBI Charges Deputy Sheriff With Stealing Drugs in Traffic Stops

News release from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation:
Chattanooga, Tenn. – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation today arrested a former McMinn County Sheriff’s Office deputy for one count of official oppression after he was indicted by the McMinn County grand jury earlier this week.
Justin Hester, 28, of 263 County Road 587, Englewood, Tenn. was charged as a result of a TBI investigation that began in November 2011. While working as a McMinn County deputy, Hester made numerous traffic stops between the summer of 2011 and November 2011 which were not documented with the county’s dispatch. The investigation revealed that Hester removed prescription narcotics, such as oxycodone, from the individuals and the vehicles he stopped and searched. He did not arrest or charge the individuals nor did he turn the pills into the evidence room at the sheriff’s office, keeping them for himself. Many of the individuals did not realize Hester took the pills until after the traffic stop was concluded. Hester resigned from the McMinn County Sheriff’s Office in December 2011.
Hester was booked into the McMinn County Jail and booked on a $5,000 bond.