6/24/2008Tennessee: Police Chief Arrested for Ticket Fixing
Burns, Tennessee police chief busted for allegedly trying to fix a speeding ticket.
The police chief for Burns, Tennessee has found himself on the wrong side of the law over a speeding citation. Dickson County Sheriff's deputies booked Chief Jerry Sumerour Jr. last week on charges that he tried to force a subordinate to fix a ticket. Sumerour turned himself in to authorities without incident and posted a $50 bond to face arraignment on the class C misdemeanor charge on July 14.
The charges stem from a March 21 traffic stop. Captain Larry Williams wrote the chief's sixteen-year-old stepson a reckless driving and a speeding ticket for exceeding 63 MPH in a 30 zone in a Dodge Neon. A grand jury found evidence that Sumerour may have attempted to pressure Williams into dropping the tickets in violation of his own written orders.
"He started pleading with me to give him the tickets and put 'warning' on them and at that particular time, I told him, I said, 'I can't do that, we just came out of a staff meeting about this' and I said, 'Jerry, this is a bad thing, you shouldn't be doing this' and he tells me in a very deep tone, 'My wife is leaving me'," Williams told WKRN-TV in an interview.
Sumerour fired Williams less than three weeks later. The town attorney for Burns defended the firing in a written statement in April.
"It currently appears that the grounds for Officer Williams' termination were independent and legitimate business reasons," attorney Timothy V. Potter wrote. "Due to the fact that Officer Williams has apparently made allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the City of Burns Police Department, no additional comment will be made at this time."
Williams told WTVF-TV in April that he turned on his dashcam during the traffic stop and that there should be a recording of the incident that includes an appearance by Sumerour's wife, Michelle. The town has declined to produce the video.