- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - Rutherford County Chief Administrative Officer Joe Russell has been suspended for 10 days without pay after records showed he used his work email to conduct business unrelated to his job.

Sheriff Robert Arnold announced his suspension decision Wednesday, local news outlets reported.

A report of action signed by Russell and Arnold and dated Sept. 28 says Russell violated the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office Employee Handbook by using his work email for “a business not related specifically to his job duties.”

Russell and Arnold have been under investigation since April by the FBI and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in regard to the sale of JailCigs electronic cigarettes to inmates at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center. JailCigs is owned by Arnold’s aunt and uncle.

Resident Steve Lane told The Daily News Journal (https://on.dnj.com/1N0nD3f ) in a telephone interview Wednesday that he and other members of the Tennesseans Against Corruption group plan to seek an ouster suit to remove Arnold from office.



“Joe Russell is Sheriff Arnold’s best friend and JailCigs business partner,” Lane said. “Nobody should be surprised by this token suspension. Our focus has always been and remains the removal of Sheriff Arnold.”

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