Tennessee Sheriff, Captain Arrested for Improper Use of Prisoner Labor
by Kevin W. Bliss
Sheriff Jimmy Brown and Captain Adam Brewer, with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, were arrested in May 2018 following an investigation into inappropriate conduct.
At the request of 22nd District Attorney General Brent Cooper, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury began reviewing the activities of the Sheriff’s Office. They discovered that between 2015 and 2017, Sheriff Brown, 71, allowed various county employees to use jail prisoners to perform labor at their personal residences. In addition, he would release detainees without requiring them to post bond as ordered by the court. The sheriff also reportedly violated the law in connection with confiscated illegal moonshine and a still.
Captain Brewer was accused of falsifying timesheets and misleading investigators as to the accuracy of reported hours worked at the Sheriff’s Office.
A local grand jury returned indictments, charging Brown with two counts of official misconduct, one count of misuse of inmate labor for personal gain and one count of tampering with evidence. Brewer was charged with one count of official misconduct.
Brown, who was elected sheriff in August 2010 and re-elected in 2014, lost his re-election bid on August 2, 2018. Both he and Brewer have professed their innocence.
“The bottom has fallen out of my world,” Brown stated. “I can tell you that because I have done nothing criminally wrong.” Asked about being booked into his own jail, he added, “That was my first time to experience being on that side of that, yes, sir. I have a deep appreciation and awareness for people who have to go through that.”
Sources: www.tbinewsroom.com, www.whnt.com, www.timesdaily.com, www.tennesseestar.com, www.columbiadailyherald.com, www.wkrn.com