5 former jail workers arrested on misconduct, other charges
Joshua Cory Bumgardner
Jacob Scott Layel
RUTLEDGE (WATE) - Several former Grainger County jail employees, including the son of Sheriff Scott Layel, were arrested Thursday on charges of official misconduct, some relating to the November escape of three inmates from the jail.
District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn's office says the grand jury met Wednesday and brought the charges after an investigation conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Grainger County Sheriff's Office and other agencies.
Michael Sane, 29, is charged with six counts of official misconduct, three counts of bribery and three counts of permitting or facilitating escape. He was arrested and released on $50,000 bond. Sane was among three workers fired or asked to resign after Dennis Rucker, Shane Farrow and David Valentine escaped from the jail in November.
The TBI says Sane allowed inmates to leave the jail by opening the outside door for inmates who would then scale the outside fence to pick up contraband. Those inmates would then bring the contraband inside the jail to sell to other inmates.
Tyler Farrow, 20, is charged with official misconduct and introduction of contraband into a penal facility. He, too, was released on $10,000 bond. The TBI says had knowledge of inmates with contraband and refrained from performing his duties by law.
Jacob Layel, 20, is charged with official misconduct and theft of property under $500. He was booked and released on $10,000 bond. The TBI says he stole cash during a cell search for contraband.
Joshua Bumgardner, 33, was arrested on official misconduct and official oppression charges. He was later released on $10,000 bond. TBI agents say he intentionally allowed a female inmate to expose herself to him.
Jessie E. Cummings, 24, is charged with two counts of sexual conduct with an inmate, three counts of official misconduct, and official oppression. Cummings is named in a lawsuit filed on behalf of three former inmates who claim they were raped during their stays at the jail. Cummings was released on $50,000 bond.
All five are scheduled for arraignment in the Circuit Court for Grainger County on January 27 at 9 a.m.
The jail has been under scrutiny since Rucker, Farrow and Valentine escaped from the jail in November. All three were later found in Sevier County.
Jail employees Michael Sane and Cody Wolfe were fired after the incident for negligence. A third worker, Bobby Owens, told 6 News he was forced to resign.
Sheriff Scott Layel, who had been away from the sheriff's office due to health problems, authorized Chief Deputy Charles Biddle to act as sheriff on his behalf.
Grainger County Mayor Mark Hipsher promised changes would be enacted at the jail to prevent future problems, including the installation of new locks.
Workers were seen putting up new razor wire at the jail on Thursday.