Jellico Police Captain under investigation by TBI

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By Charlotte Underwood

Jellico Police Captain Jeff Partin is under investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), according to TBI authorities. But he remains on the town payroll after being placed on paid leave.

The investigation is centered around an incident, which allegedly occurred in June.

The issue first came to light at the Sept. 17 mayor and aldermen meeting, when the board, along with the town attorney and the chief of police went into executive session.

Afterwards, Mayor Forster Baird called the regular meeting back to order. Board member and Police Commissioner Elsie Crawford advised the board that Partin had been suspended on Aug. 18 for a June incident. The police committee, consisting of Darrell Byrge, Crawford and Alvin Evans had brought this matter before the board during the executive session, according to the meeting’s minutes.

Crawford said during the Sept. 17 meeting she was reluctantly making a motion to terminate Partin for improper conduct based on the advice of the Jellico Police Chief Chris Anderson and town attorney Terry Basista.

When Byrge seconded her motion and the matter was put to a vote the board spilt its says on the question. Evans, Vice Mayor Mike Johnson and Alderman John Davenport all voted no to terminating Partin. Crawford and Byrge voted yes, stating their votes were based on the recommendation of Anderson.

After the motion to terminate Partin failed, Johnson made a motion to continue paying Partin while he was on suspension until the investigation is complete, to the meeting’s minutes said. Byrge seconded that motion as well. All board members voted yes to that.

This meant Partin was suspended with full salary.

Other than acknowledging an ongoing investigation into an open case regarding Partin, TBI Public Information Officer Kristin Helm said she could not comment further.

On Tuesday, Crawford also declined comment other than saying the motion she made to terminate Partin was made with great reluctance, but based upon the recommendation of the chief and the town attorney.

Partin has been on the Jellico Police Force since August of 1995, according to personnel records.

Attempts were made to contact the Jellico Chief of Police for comment on Partin’s suspension.

Calls had not been returned at press time.