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Politics

Rutherford sheriff's family, deputy tied to jail vendors

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RCSO
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Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — The Rutherford County sheriff's aunt, uncle and chief deputy own companies selling electronic cigarettes and snacks to inmates at the county jail.

WSMV-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1DqbP7j) the state comptroller is investigating the connection between Sheriff Robert Arnold, Chief Deputy Joe Russell and the companies JailCigs and JailSnacks.

Arnold also disclosed on a state ethics form that his wife works part-time for JailCigs.

Asked about the connections to JailCigs by the television station, Arnold seemed surprised to learn that his chief deputy, who is also his next-door neighbor, was involved with the company.

JailCigs is supposed to give the sheriff's department a cut of its profits, but county finance officials told the station they had not seen those checks.