- Associated Press - Friday, September 2, 2016

TRENTON, Tenn. (AP) - Three former Gibson County employees have accepted plea agreements in a case involving official misconduct.

The Jackson Sun (https://bit.ly/2bQ5vvq ) reports that Joel Hughey, Eddie Bradford and Renea Terrell entered plea agreements Thursday.

Their pleas followed an indictment charging former Sheriff Charles Arnold and his staff members with benefiting from a scheme to profit from the sale of electronic cigarettes in the jail Arnold oversees.

Former correctional officers Hughey and Bradford were indicted on charges of theft and official misconduct. They were accused of receiving overtime pay for work they didn’t do. Hughey pleaded guilty to theft under $500 and official misconduct, while Bradford entered an Alford plea. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but admits that there is enough evidence to prove he or she is guilty.

Terrell, a contract nurse for the sheriff’s office, pleaded guilty to theft and conspiracy to obtain controlled substances by fraud after a state audit found that prescription drug purchases that were made for inmates never reached the jail. The audit said she prescribed painkillers to inmates without examining them and improperly inflated her invoices to the county by $9,536.

Hughey’s attorney, Daniel Taylor, called the case a complex situation, saying there are multiple issues in one case.

“Leadership, the Sheriff’s Office, medical records, pay for work not performed,” he said. “Different issues (but) everybody is on the same indictment. Medical records might apply to one group, leadership to another and overtime pay to another.”

Arnold is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 7.


Information from: The Jackson Sun, https://www.jacksonsun.com

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