During a recent WGNS political forum for the office of Rutherford County Sheriff, a statement about a lost gun was made…
That was Sheriff’s candidate Jim Tramel who once worked at the Sheriff’s Office. An undisclosed source later told us the gun was said to have gone missing in the Logan’s Restaurant bathroom.
To find out the answer to this question, we simply contacted the Public Information Officer at the Sheriff’s Office. We asked Lisa Marchesoni, “Has the gun that went missing at Logan's been found?” She told us in an email, “We are unaware about a weapon missing from Logan’s.”
WGNS investigated the allegation and it was confirmed through personnel files that Detective Phil Brooks lost his duty weapon in November of 2011. With that information in hand, we headed to a former supervisor of Brooks who once worked at the Sheriff’s Office…
That was former Sheriff’s Office Commander Preble Acton. According to the “Report of Action Form” outlining the lost weapon, Acton was the Division Commander over Brooks in 2011. The paperwork that we obtained from the county Human Resources office confirmed that Brooks noticed his service gun went missing from his home on November 6th of 2011. He then reported it to the Sheriff’s Office on November 8th of 2011. Logan's restaurant was not mentioned in the paperwork, but his punishment for losing the weapon was listed. It included 5 unpaid days of suspension that he took one day per week over an entire month.
We were then told by an undisclosed source that Brooks lost another handgun while visiting Chicago for a Sheriff’s Office related task. However, there was no information in his personnel file about a lost weapon in the Windy City. Former Commander Acton told us that she confronted Sheriff Arnold about the lost weapon in Chicago and suggested that the Sheriff told Brooks to lie about the missing handgun.
While there was not a file to back up the alleged lost gun in Chicago, we did find a statement written by Lieutenant Todd Sparks that may have highlighted that second lost service gun. The statement was actually signed by Commander Preble Acton and Sheriff Robert Arnold, thus acknowledging the second lost gun.
Lt. Sparks wrote, “Since being notified of this incident it has been brought to my attention that similar incidents have occurred in the recent past.” Lt. Sparks then proposed that Detective Brooks should receive a 10-day suspension. Deputy Chief Virgil Gammon later overrode that suggestion, only giving Detective Brooks 5-days without pay. No punishment ever occurred for those “similar incidents.”
We were told that the gun in Chicago was recovered by staff at a hotel and later turned into the Chicago Police Department, but the deputy who gave us that information did not want us to use his name out of fear of retaliation.
As for the second gun that was said to be lost in the home of Detective Brooks or possibly at a restaurant, according to a former supervisor, that gun has never been recovered. It was a police issued Sig-Saur .40-caliber pistol.
Former RCSO Commander Preble Acton
Recent Sheriff Candidate Show – Jim Tramel
Sheriff’s Office “Report of Action” files for Det. Brooks (2011)
Undisclosed Deputy of the RCSO