MURFREESBORO, TN – The 21-member Rutherford County Commission voted retired Sheriff’s Department Captain Mike Fitzhugh as interim sheriff.
There were three rounds of voting among the four candidates selected before the vote. They were current Chief Deputy Keith Lowery, former Deputy Chief Virgil Gammon, Fitzhugh and TBI Agent Dale Armour.
Lowery received the lowest number of votes after the first round. Gammon in the second round. The final vote was 11 votes for Mike Fitzhugh and 10 for Dale Armour.
Fitzhugh, age 71, worked for BellSouth, was former director of the Rutherford County Rescue Squad and retired in 2013 as captain at the sheriff’s department.
The vote by the commission was forced after Robert Arnold was jailed and suspended while awaiting a trial next month on federal corruption charges.
Arnold will face the courts on February 7, 2017. The 14-count indictment charges Sheriff Arnold with honest services fraud; mail fraud; wire fraud; bribery concerning federal programs; extortion under color of official right; obstruction of justice; and conspiracy.
Also facing the charges are former Rutherford County Sheriff’s Chief Administrative Deputy Joe L. Russell II, 49, and Arnold’s uncle, John Vanderveer, 58, of Marietta, Georgia. Russell was terminated by the Sheriff’s Office on November 17, 2016.
Fitzhugh will have to take the oath of office and be bonded before he can assume the position. That’s expected on or before Monday.