- Associated Press - Saturday, May 28, 2016

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold says he won’t leave office despite facing federal corruption charges.

The Daily News Journal reports (https://on.dnj.com/1X3tRr2 ) Arnold sent a text message Saturday to one of the newspaper’s reporters saying, “On the record, I have no intentions of resigning.”

The text came a day after Arnold was brought into a federal courtroom in handcuffs and while residents have started an online petition to oust him. The sheriff, his chief deputy over administration, Joe Russell, and the sheriff’s uncle, John Vanderveer, have been named in a 14-count federal indictment. Arnold is accused of benefiting from a scheme to profit from the sale of electronic cigarettes in the jail he oversees.

The men face multiple charges, including: fraud, bribery and obstruction of justice.

The sheriff has defended himself throughout the investigation. One of his lawyers said on Friday that Arnold would be entering a plea of not guilty and expects to be acquitted by a jury. Court documents don’t list lawyers for the other two men.

Court papers say the trio invested money to form JailCigs, a limited liability corporation that sold e-cigarettes to inmates in the jail but sold them without going through a bidding process.

The indictment alleges Arnold used his official position to promote the sale of electronic cigarettes in the jail in exchange for bribes and kickbacks from Russell and Vanderveer.


Information from: The Daily News Journal, https://www.dnj.com

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