Possible unrelated criminal violations found during Johnson City Jail investigation; TBI now involved
Jan 9, 2013 at 2:42 PM
The internal investigation involving the Johnson City Police jail’s superintendent has led to possible criminal violations involving another person, but unrelated to the original probe, according to Police Chief Mark Sirois.
Additionally, Sam Garland retired in November from his post as jail superintendent, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was tasked with determining if any criminal laws were broken by another person, the chief said.
“Former superintendent Garland is not the focus of this investigation,” he said.
A TBI spokesman confirmed the agency’s involvement.
“We’ve been asked to investigate some possible criminal conduct that came from the internal investigation,” said Kristin Helm, public information officer at the TBI.
On Wednesday, Sirois would not identify the person who is being investigated, but said “everything we have has been turned over to the TBI and they will look” at any individual or individuals they determine appropriate.
Helm also declined to comment further on the agency’s investigation.
The JCPD internal investigation began in October “involving allegations of procedural violations at the Johnson City Jail. In the course of that investigation, what may be criminal violations were also identified,” Sirois said.
Initially, Sam Garland was placed on paid administrative leave, but later decided to retire from the department.
After discovering the possible criminal violations — which apparently have nothing to do with the jail or Sam Garland — Sirois said he turned the investigation over to District Attorney General Tony Clark, who then contacted TBI.
“They’re going to look at what we have identified and see whether or not there are criminal charges or criminal violations,” Sirois said.
He declined to say who the person being investigated is and referred other questions to the TBI.
“It’s not directly involving the jail, (and) former Superintendent Garland is not the focus of this investigation,” Sirois said.
Helm did confirm that statement.
As for the “procedural violations” in the jail that initiated the internal investigation, Sirois said the department is reviewing policies that would address the violation occurred.
He also declined to say what that violation was, but that it “could be related” to the criminal investigation.
The Johnson City Jail is only for state female inmates who are allowed to participate in work programs like cleaning city buildings and maintaining city parks.