Rutherford Co. Approve New Deputies; Sheriff Remains Under Fire

Posted at 10:05 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 00:06:03-04

While Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold, remained in hot water over 14 federal charges the Rutherford County Commission approved 19 new officers for the Sheriff’s Office.

Most lawmakers said the extra staffing was needed, some said they didn't trust Arnold to hire the right people.

The Commissioners approved the decision to hire seven additional patrol deputies and 12 detention center officers by a vote of 12 to 9.

Sheriff Arnold made the staffing request before being indicted for his alleged role in illegally profiting off of inmates at the jail through the sale of electronic cigarettes.

When NewsChannel 5 asked Commissioner Rhonda Allen if she trusted Arnold, she responded by saying,  “No, that’s a very easy question to answer.  No, I have no trust in him whatsoever.”

So the question commissioners weighed Thursday was whether the deputy shortage was bad enough to let Sheriff Arnold get his hands on an additional $1.2 million of county money to pay for the increased staffing. 

Some commissioners were weary Arnold might use the money to hire different types of staff instead. 

Others appealed to Arnold -- who was not present -- directly, asking him to let other management at the Sheriff’s Office make the hiring decisions.

While the vote to hire the deputies was somewhat split, throughout commissioners' comments it became clear that most every commissioner has no confidence in the sheriff. 

Back in June, the commission unanimously approved a resolution asking Sheriff Arnold to resign.