Commissioners Vote for Arnold Resignation

The Rutherford County Commission unanimously approved a resolution asking Sheriff Robert Arnold to resign Thursday night.

Arnold, his uncle, John Vanderveer, and Joe Russell, the Sheriff’s Office chief of accounting and administration, face a 14-count federal indictment accusing them of illegally profiting off inmates through the sale of electronic cigarettes through a JailCigs business. Their jury trial is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 2 in Nashville.

The County Commission spent about an hour in private executive session with attorney John T. Bobo to ask him what to do about the sheriff before voting 21-0 to ask Arnold to resign.

“I personally feel like evidence has been out there that he has not been fulfilling the duties of his office the way he should be, so I think it’s a fair resolution to ask him to give up the office,” Commissioner Robert Peay Jr. said. “The bottom line is I think he needs to go.”

Arnold, Russell and Vanderveer were in handcuffs May 27 to learn about the charges in the Nashville courtroom of U.S. Magistrate Judge John Bryant. The year before, the FBI raided the homes of the three.

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