Monday, March 31, 2008

March 31, 2008 Jailer Lynn Wolfe Sues Sheriff Esco Jarnigan

What can public documents tell you that no public official will tell you? Plenty. What can public documents tell you that no newspaper will tell you? Plenty.

Lynn Wolfe filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Esco Jarnigan in federal court in January 2008 because Sheriff Jarnigan would not promote him to road deputy. Click on the first images above to read the 5-page complaint.

Wolfe was Hamblen County's chief detective under former Sheriff Otto Purkey. Chief Detective Wolfe was driving a county cruiser in December 2000 returning home from an out-of-county "party" when he totaled the county's 1999 Ford Crown Vic in a one-vehicle accident.

According to reports, a blood test was administered at M-H Hospital showing that Mr. Wolfe was legally drunk at the time of the accident. Wolfe resigned after the accident and received a severance package that was agreed to by County Mayor David Purkey (former Sheriff Otto Purkey's brother). Click on the Feb. 2, 2001, letter above.

According to several individuals, including one who talked to Mr. Wolfe several months ago, Mr. Wolfe is related to both Purkeys.

What actually happened in December 2000 and afterwards? Did Wolfe make restitution to the county for the vehicle he wrecked while DWI?

Hamblen County filed suit against Lynn Wolfe in 2001 to recover the costs of the cruiser that was totaled in December 2000 when he was DWI. An August 29, 2002, Agreed Order provided that Wolfe was to pay the county $6,250.00 for the 1999 Crown Vic.

The terms of the agreement were that Mr. Wolfe could pay $6,250.00 cash or he could work the payment off performing community service at $6.00/hour. Click on the Agreed Order above.

According to County Trustee Bill Brittain, Wolfe chose the community service option. Did Wolfe really "pay" for the cruiser through community service?

Or did the taxpayers pay for the car, pay for the lawsuit, get an Agreed Order requiring that Lynn Wolfe make restitution to the county, and then have all this ignored by Lynn Wolfe, Mayor David Purkey, and several others who saw or prepared the paperwork and were in the know?

Three community service "time sheets" that Wolfe filled out and that were turned in to Mayor David Purkey are shown above. Two of them are signed by Gary Templin. Look at these time sheets and see how many hours of "community service" were performed as restitution. These time sheets are public records that are kept in the County Mayor's office.

The three time sheets do NOT show even one hour of time worked. Instead, they show that Mr. Wolfe somehow pre-listed about 130 dates, signed his name beside each date, and then had his community service "supervisor" Gary Templin sign and turn in the time sheets even though the "time" sheets had NO TIME on them.

Who is Gary Templin? Gary was Assistant Director of County Maintenance on the dates shown. But there's more! Gary's boss was Director of County Maintenance Harold Wolfe, Lynn Wolfe's father.

It will be interesting to see if other community service time sheets are suddenly found somewhere in the Mayor's Office or elsewhere when it comes time to determine if Mr. Wolfe actually made restitution to the county as stated on Page 2 of his complaint. The time sheets that the Mayor has provided thus far don't show any restitution.

How could anyone--Mayor Purkey or even Lynn Wolfe himself--have known when Lynn had "worked off" the $6,250.00 judgment when the only time sheets the Mayor's office has show ZERO TIME WORKED?
Who was supposed to see that restitution was made? Who knew that "timeless" time sheets were being handed in? Who ignored the "timeless" time sheets? Why?
The kinships and resulting conflicts of interest are obvious. Even Mayor Purkey and the Wolfes knew there would be a stink with Lynn Wolfe supposedly working off his judgment by working for his dad's County Maintenance Department.
No problem. Mayor Purkey sent Harold Wolfe a note telling Harold Wolfe what to say about Lynn Wolfe making court-ordered restitution by working for his father's maintenance department.

Purkey's note of 9/13/02 (click on above memo) says:

"Harold, If anyone asks, Lynn is being supervised by Gary Templin. Gary can see me for the details. Thanks, D"

Why would the County Mayor have to tell Harold Wolfe that Lynn Wolfe is being supervised by Gary Templin? Didn't Harold, Director of County Maintenance, already know that his assistant was supervising his son?
Did Gary really supervise Lynn Wolfe or did he just dutifully sign time sheets for his boss's son--time sheets that didn't even have one hour of time on them?

The details of Templin's supervision of his boss's (Harold Wolfe's) son (Lynn Wolfe) are found in the public documents shown above and others.

Conflicts of interest. Sweetheart deals by your kinfolk. Turning in blank community service time sheets to your kinfolk that list lots of dates and that are signed by your "supervisor" (your dad's assistant) but show NOT ONE HOUR OF TIME WORKED.

Being re-hired by your kinfolk Otto Purkey. Purkey loses the election and there's no longer kinfolk to promote you to road deputy.

File a civil service complaint against the new Sheriff because he won't promote you to a road deputy position for which you are not eligible because you are not POST-certified as a result of your DWI.

And now a civil rights lawsuit against the new Sheriff because he won't request a POST-certification waiver so Lynn Wolfe can somehow get back "on the road again."

Nepotism at its worst. Conflicts of interest all over the place. Public documents tell the tale.
Now what does the county do about it? What, if anything, will be done to make sure that restitution is made and that lack of oversight and ignoring "timeless" time sheets never occur again?
Who watches the watchers? Who protects county tax dollars?

1 comment:

Tim Nunan said...

So far it appears that Sheriff Jarnigan is trying to do what is right and the "old boy" network isn't happy with that.

Nepotism? Conflict of interest? One would think that a local newspaper would be all over this... wait it is the Citizen Tribune isn't it; Might turn over the wrong rock.