Leaders Call For Action In Sheriff Arnold Case

Posted at 7:49 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 20:50:25-05

Nearly a year after agents raided Sheriff Robert Arnold's home, county leaders have began searching for updates into a case they said seemed to be going nowhere.

There have been lawsuits, inmate deaths and even a controversy over Beyonce since the initial investigation.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and local District Attorney backed off the case after federal agents took over and began investigating Sheriff Arnold last April.

Yet, in the time since the U.S. Attorney has yet to take action, and civic leaders said leaving sheriff Arnold in legal limbo is bad for the county.

"If you were the U-S attorney general or someone from that office I'd ask when is this going to end for us," said Rutherford county commissioner Brad Turner who serves on both the Public Safety and Ethics committees.

He believed each day of uncertainty hurts county citizens.

"There's a huge cloud hovering over us on how we govern moving forward," said Turner.

A bad vibe was emanating from the county jail. The issue at hand - the relationship between Sheriff Arnold and Jail-Cigs which sells E-cigarettes to inmates.

The D.A. told us last year he called for an investigation amid allegations of profiteering from a public office.

"We've been made aware of concerns over financial activity at the sheriff's department," said D.A. Jennings Jones last April.

The TBI and FBI raided the sheriff's office and his home last April. Since then, silence.

However, Sheriff Arnold continued to make headlines, inmates committing suicide, multi-million dollar lawsuits against the jail, top staffers fired, and last week shots fired at Arnold's home.

"Something needs to be done," said Turner. But it may be too late on at least one front.

Sources told Newschannel 5 several potential charges the state could have brought against Arnold were since taken off the table.

Reporter Nick Beres shared that with Commissioner Turner. "Certainly there's frustration if the statute of limitations might have ran out," said Turner.

You heard right: The statue of limitations on some potential state charges expired while waiting for the feds to finish their investigation.

Most all the eggs were in their basket. NewsChannel 5 did ask for comment from the U.S. Attorney's office. They declined to comment and it's anyone's guess if and when they'll take action.

But many close to the case expected word on a possible indictment before the end of March. Regardless, Sheriff Arnold has said he's innocent and will not resign.