NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Edison Vacuum has been selling and servicing in Nashville for 60 years.
Jess Amonette, who helps keep this family-owned company going, found out what it means for business when he got called for jury duty from July to September 2011.
"It spread us thin for those three months," Amonette said.
Amonette wasn't only summoned to be a juror. He was also selected to be on the Grand Jury where Eugene Grayer served as foreman.
"The amount of energy I wasn't really prepared for because some of these things would be grueling, all day affairs almost to get to the bottom of," Amonette went on to say.
They heard 30 to 40 cases per day for months. That's why Amonette is shocked to learn Grayer, appointed by Davidson County Judge Monte Watkins, is actually a convicted felon.
State law prohibits anyone convicted of a felony to serve on a Grand Jury.
"It's unbelievable to me that one wasn't done before he was seated as the foreman. We all assumed that we had had background checks run on us so it just went without saying that the foreman would have had one run on him," he said.
Now some jurors worry the error could mean the 900+ indictments they handed down may not stand today. Another juror reached by phone Thursday called the news first dug up by NewsChannel 5 Investigates "disappointing" and "frustrating".
"We decided on a lot of cases of that nature and it definitely seems like a conflict of interest," Amonette said. "I don't see any recourse they have, but to try all the cases."
We asked just how much influence Grayer seemed to have as foreman. Amonette says at times Grayer played devil's advocate with many testifying witnesses, but may have made things go longer than necessary.
He tells NewsChannel 5 the Grand Jury was made up of very opinionated people who are firm in their beliefs so doesn't believe they made any wrong decisions.