Former District Attorney General Joe Crumley turned himself in Sept. 30, more than a week after he was involved in a pursuit by Jonesborough Public Safety officers.
Crumley arrived at the Washington County Detention Center with a bondsman and was booked on charges of reckless driving, evading arrest, reckless endangerment and failure to yield. After paying his $12,500 bond, he walked out of the jail that same night.
JPS officers began pursuit of Crumley, who was district attorney general from 1998-2006, just after noon on Sept. 21 after he nearly struck a patrol vehicle head on in the 100 block of East Main Street. Crumley was followed to Tenn. Highway 81 South, where he was stopped after police say he forced several vehicles off the road. Once stopped, Crumley’s vehicle lurched forward, striking a JPS vehicle involved in the pursuit. No one was hurt in the crash.
About an hour after the incident, Crumley was taken to Johnson City Medical Center for what Jonesborough officials described as medical duress. The investigation into the pursuit was placed on hold until Crumley was no longer in the hospital.
JPS Chief Matt Hawkins said criminal charges were pending in the case, but refused a request by the Johnson City Press to release the police in-car video of the pursuit and crash. The town of Jonesborough formally denied that request last week, citing the circumstances of the ongoing investigation.
“This denial is consistent with our ongoing policy of not releasing the contents of criminal investigation files until the matter is resolved in court,” James R. Wheeler, the town’s attorney, wrote in an email to this newspaper. “We treat all criminal investigation files the same and the district attorney has recommended we continue to do so.”
Even so, some readers who have been following this case on our website believe Jonesborough officials have treated Crumley differently from other defendants facing similar charges.
One person posted a comment saying: “... the Jonesborough Police Department did not do the right thing. They allowed Mr. Crumley to turn himself in at his own convenience nearly 10 days after he reportedly committed these serious crimes. Are the citizens of Jonesborough expected to believe that this man did not receive preferential treatment from those whom we entrust to enforce our laws?”
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