A new judge handling the official corruption case of former Sheriff Robert Arnold is postponing his sentencing until early September. Arnold is awaiting sentencing in a West Tennessee prison.
Senior U.S. District Judge Marvin E. Aspen, who took the case this week from Judge Kevin Sharp, denied a request by Arnold to move his sentencing to mid-April from early May and opted to set it back even later in the year. Sharp is to step down April 15 and go into private practice.
Aspen set sentencing hearings for Arnold and co-defendant John Vanderveer for Sept. 6 and said in his order, "If practicable, the Court will move the sentencing hearing to an earlier date." Aspen set sentencing for former Sheriff's Chief Administrative Deputy Joe Russell for Sept. 8.
In January, Arnold, 40, pleaded guilty to three counts of a 14-count federal indictment lodged against him in connection with an unauthorized scheme to sell e-cigarettes to county jail inmates and pocket the money instead of sending the proceeds to the county general fund and trying to conceal his involvement.
Arnold entered a guilty plea to single counts of wire fraud, honest services fraud and extortion as an official. He resigned as sheriff a day before the plea.
Vanderveer and Russell are free on bond. Russell and Vanderveer also pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme.