crime

Shelby Commissioner Justin Ford charged with domestic violence

Shelby County Commissioner Justin Ford was released from jail Monday afternoon following his arrest earlier in the day after his girlfriend accused him of punching and choking her during an argument, reports the Commercial Appeal.

The 32-year-old faces charges of aggravated assault/domestic violence and false imprisonment.

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Sheriff pleads guilty to sex with women inmates, beating man

Fentress County Sheriff Chucky Cravens has pleaded guilty to bribing female inmates for sex and beating a male prisoner, reports the Cookeville Herald-Citizen.

Cravens, 47, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday after an investigation that began barely more than a week before. The official charges were three counts of honest services fraud and one count of deprivation of rights under color of law. The charges stem back from July to as recently as March 1.

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Comptroller catches government thieves in Claiborne, Fayette, Jefferson, Sumner counties

The ever-vigilant state comptroller’s office reports finding thievery afoot at Powell Valley Elementary School in Claiborne County, the city recorder’s office in the Sumner County city of Gallatin, a parks office and a school system Fayette County and at the New Market Volunteer Fire Department in Jefferson County in recent auditing of local government entities.

There are also “several questions” about activities at the town of Oakland in Fayette County generally along with the indictment of an official who worked both for the town and as athletic director of Fayette County schools.

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TBI: Police officer pawned department pistols

News release from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

NASHVILLE – Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained an indictment for a former police officer who is now facing charges of Theft and Official Misconduct.

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An update on officers stabbed in prison uprising

News release from Department of Corrections

NASHVILLE – One of the three officers assaulted during (Sunday’s) disturbance at Turney Center Industrial Complex has been released from the hospital.  Officer Lester Ball was treated and released overnight.  Officers Jesse Shockley and Paul Nielsen remain hospitalized in stable condition.

The Department continues to work closely with other law enforcement agencies including the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which we have asked to conduct its own independent investigation into the events.

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Three guards injured in TN prison inmate uprising

Three corrections officers were injured, including one held hostage for about three hours, in a Sunday inmate uprising at Turney Center state prison, located about 60 miles west of Nashville in Hickman County.

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Alexander staffer, charged with theft, resigns

A staff member in Sen. Lamar Alexander’s Knoxville office has resigned after being charged with felony identity theft, reports WBIR-TV.

Jonathan C. Griswold, 38, is set to appear April 13 in Knox County General Sessions Court, records show.

…David Cleary, the senator’s chief of staff, issued a statement on Friday about the charges, “Senator Alexander was disappointed to hear of Jonathan’s arrest and has accepted his resignation. Based on the information we have today, the charges have nothing to do with his official duties.”

Griswold formerly worked as constituent services manager for Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. He resigned abruptly in 2013, soon after he was found to have consumed alcohol and then used a county vehicle, personnel records showed.

According to the ID theft warrant, Griswold used someone’s stolen Home Federal debit card to make ATM withdrawals from the bank at 5538 Kingston Pike. Griswold had the victim’s PIN number, the warrant states. In all, the victim lost about $6,000, according to the warrant.

TN Supreme majority: Police can ignore ‘no trespassing’ signs

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts

Nashville, Tenn. – A majority of the Supreme Court has ruled that, despite the existence of “no trespassing” signs near an unobstructed driveway, police officers’ warrantless entry onto the defendant’s property was constitutionally permissible.

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Nashville judge, facing federal charges, resigns

Nashville General Sessions Judge Casey Moreland, facing federal obstruction of justice charges, has resigned from the bench effective Tuesday, reports The Nashville Post.

Moreland’s lawyer submitted his resignation letter to a federal magistrate judge during a pretrial detention hearing (Friday), during which Magistrate Judge Joe Brown decided Moreland could return home while he awaits trial.

Mayor Megan Barry and several Metro Council members had previously called for Moreland’s resignation over allegations included in an FBI investigation that the judge had attempted to pay more than $6,000 to have a witness sign a false affidavit as well as plant drugs on the same witness in order to discredit her.

Moreland’s resignation is effective April 4.

The magistrate judge ruled that Moreland could be released prior to his trial, with conditions restricting his travel and communication with others. Moreland’s wife, Jacqueline, testified that the judge has experienced symptoms of depression and alcoholism for the past few years, and she agreed to oversee the conditions of his release. The two have not lived together since early February, after news media accounts revealed he had been involved in a relationship with the witness in the investigation, who was previously a defendant in his Nashville courtroom.

West TN alderman indicted for voter fraud

News release from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

MEMPHIS – An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the indictment of a Moscow City Alderman on charges of violating election laws. 

At the request of 25th District Attorney General Mike Dunavant, on November 1, 2016, TBI Special Agents began investigating Virgil Jones on complaints of election law fraud. Jones is an Alderman for the city of Moscow, in Fayette County. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that while Jones does own property in Moscow, his actual residence is in Whiteville, in Hardeman County, and he listed the fraudulent address on elections records for the purpose of running for the Alderman position. Additionally, a review of election records indicates that while Jones has lived in Whiteville, he has been a registered voter in Moscow and has voted there for numerous elections.

On Monday, the Fayette County Grand Jury returned indictments charging  Virgil Jones (DOB 8/11/1964) with one count of False Entry on Official Registration or Election Document, one count of Perjury and False Statement on Official Election Documents, and five counts of Voter Fraud. Jones turned himself in to TBI Special Agents on Tuesday and was booked into the Fayette County Jail. His bond was set at $10,000.

ABOUT THIS BLOG

Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.

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