The Lawrence County sheriff and his longtime captain say they are not guilty after being indicted and arrested last week by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Sheriff Jimmy Brown was indicted on official misconduct, tampering with evidence and use of inmate labor for personal gain.
His captain, Adam Brewer, was charged with one count of official misconduct for allegedly falsifying time sheets.
On Monday, for the first time, the duo spoke publicly.
“I was elected by the people of Lawrence County, I swore an oath to protect and serve,” Sheriff Brown said. “I plan to continue my obligation to ensure the safety, the freedoms and the rights of the God-fearing people of Lawrence County.”
The sheriff spoke to News 2 outside the Lawrence County jail – the same jail he was booked into last Thursday.
He said the last few days have been devastating.
“The bottom has fallen out of my world,” the sheriff said. “I can tell you that because I have done nothing criminally wrong.”
Captain Adam Brewer, an 18-year veteran, also said the indictment and arrest was a shock.
“I was floored by it,” Brewer said.
The captain added it was awful having his mug shot taken by co-workers and being booked into the jail.
“I was devastated. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I’ve given everything I have to this job for 18 years. It is a calling. I feel it is what God put me here to do,” Brewer explained.
Sheriff Brown added, “[I’ve spent] 44 years of my life – of my adult life – in law enforcement. I’ve prided myself in doing my job correctly.”
Brewer said his arrest was many things, including embarrassing.
“It was extremely embarrassing. This weekend, I can’t say I slept much at all,” he said.
When asked what it was like to be booked into his own jail, Sheriff Brown said, “That was my first time to experience being on that side of that, yes, sir. I have a deep appreciation and awareness for people who have to go through that.”
The lawmen would not discuss specifics of the case, but both told News 2 they are confident they will be exonerated.
“I hate it for the citizens of Lawrence County,” Sheriff Brown said. “I love Lawrence County and I am devastated. I am not going to resign. I will continue to do my job, and I feel at the end of that, I will be exonerated and still be the sheriff here in Lawrence County.”
Captain Brewer added, “I am not guilty. I was born in Lawrence County. I lived my whole life in Lawrence County and dedicated my life to the citizens of Lawrence County and I will continue to do so. That’s what I have sworn an oath to do, and it is what I am here to do. I love Lawrence County.”
Both men are back at work and told News 2 they plan to stay on the job until the voters or the justice system says different.
Both said they have received a lot of support in light of their arrests.
The sheriff said since news of their arrests broke, citizens who claimed they were not going to vote in the election have called to tell him they now plan to vote for him.