An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller's Office has led to more questions than answers about the way Sheriff Robert Arnold ran the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office in Murfreesboro.
The investigation uncovered that Sheriff's Office Major Terry McBurney became an American citizen on February 24, 2016. However, former Sheriff Truman Jones fired McBurney in 2010 when he learned of infractions. Sheriff Arnold reportedly rehired him later. The Comptroller's report indicates that McBurney made false statements on state and federal forms, noting that he was a US citizen, when at the time he was not.
The report from the Comptroller's Office regarding Major McBurney stated, "The deputy made false statements on his federal Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification under the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship, and Immigration Services, for 2010 and 2012. We noted that on his Form I-9, dated September 2, 2010, the employee had marked "yes", attesting under penalty of perjury that he was a United States citizen. Sheriff Arnold also signed the form as to having verified documents given. The deputy filled out another Form I-9 on May 21, 2012, again asserting he was a citizen of the United States. However, he was not a U.S. citizen, and did not become a U.S. citizen until February 24, 2016, after investigators questioned him."
The report also shows that Sheriff Arnold swore in a new officer before the Sheriff himself took the oath of office, "Sheriff elect Robert Arnold violated state law when he performed the official act of giving the oath of office to an individual before Mr. Arnolds's term as sheriff began on September 1, 2010, and before Mr. Arnold took his own oath of office as sheriff."
Another issue that has arisen involves time cards for payroll at the Sheriff's Office. The report stated, "The Sheriff's Office did not require or maintain adequate time and attendance records to support payroll disbursements for exempt employees. Our review of time sheets and interviews with employees confirmed exempt employees were only required to submit time sheets when taking vacation, holidays, or were absent due to illness."
The Sheriff is currently on unpaid leave while awaiting his federal court date which will take place in Nashville on February 7, 2017. Sheriff Arnold is currently jailed in Kentucky.