- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

TRENTON, Tenn. (AP) - Former Gibson County Sheriff Chuck Arnold and 11 others have been indicted on theft, official misconduct and other charges following an investigation.

Arnold, five other former employees and six current employees of the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office were indicted by a grand jury Monday, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

The investigation started after current Gibson County Sheriff Paul Thomas found items missing when he took office in 2014, TBI spokeswoman Susan Niland said.

During the investigation, an audit showed several discrepancies between the dates of July 2013 through September 2014 in the areas of employee compensation, drug fund accounting, and distribution of prescriptions made out in inmates’ names.

Arnold was indicted on 113 charges, including four counts of theft over $10,000 and 55 counts of official misconduct. Investigators said Arnold removed money from the drug fund for his personal use and, along with former Chief Deputy Jeff Maitland, allowed employees to be paid for hours they didn’t work.

Special agents also concluded that Arnold, Maitland and Renea Terrell, a contract nurse practitioner, were involved in writing and filling prescriptions for controlled substances in the names of inmates who never received the medication.

Thomas said the indictments were beyond what he had expected from the TBI and Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s investigations.

“It’s mind-boggling,” Thomas said. “It’s a little disheartening.”

Arnold’s attorney Mark Donahoe said his client plans to plead not guilty to the charges. It’s not clear whether Maitland or Terrell have attorneys.

“We intend to … vigorously defend the case,” Donahoe said.

The six individuals charged who are currently employed by the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office are each facing one count of theft of $1,000 or more, and one count of official misconduct.

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