It was interesting to read Bradley County Sheriff Dan Gilley's prepared statement after county jailer Carl E. Miller was charged with extortion and conspiracy for taking $10,000 from a TBI undercover agent. But it's Gilley's statement that caught my attention because despite the false sentiment it was typical of his political prowess when a cloud hovers over the way his department is being managed. It was just another propaganda statement eagerly published by the Cleveland Daily Banner without comment to provide Gilley with a means of damage control. If he had written the statement himself at least he would have made an effort but of course he has staff to do that boring task for him. He says in the statement, "I assure the citizens of Bradley County no stone will be left unturned when an investigation of an officer involved in possible wrongdoing is necessary."
The only truth I read in the statement was that not all county officers should be judged by the actions of one man - but is he the only one and how reliable is Gilley's word? The fact is they may or may not be investigated because Gilley is paranoid about secrecy and although the stones may be turned over, the results are promptly brushed under the rug. Take the 2000 death of Golden Gallon clerk William Burl Cooper who was murdered by Travis Bess during a robbery. Gilley didn't come clean on that one. Gilley released Bess from the Bradley County jail just before the murder despite an order by Judge Caroll Ross. Was no stone left unturned to punish Gilley for ignoring a judge's order? And then there is the case of Brandon Miller who witnesses say was not a danger to police when he was shot and killed by Deputy David Harper. The Grand Jury exonerated Harper without hearing testimony from eye witnesses as they are required to do by law. Under the rug that one went too. Then there was the case of the two officers who accidentally locked themselves in the new jail while it was under construction and had to be cut out with an acetylene torch. Again under the rug. And why did officer David O'Boyle fire his pistol into his patrol car for which he was relieved from duty? Already the rug is up to your knees but the brushing goes on. And it has still not been revealed exactly how much money was taken by deputy Myles Howard from the Walker Valley High School Band Booster Club. It's anyone's guess what other wrongdoings are being concealed.
Gilley likes to portray himself as the boy next door who is open and honest, when in reality he is secretive and manipulative to an extreme. Remember, he lied about requiring 138 new jail staff when he eventually admitted needing less than a hundred.
Sheriff Gilley is not responsible for all the good that is in his department but he is responsible for all the bad.
In the bright light of day, Gilley's word means little and his statement in the Banner means even less.
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Homeland Security is a failure. We are not more secure despite the enormous cost and erosion of freedoms. The law needs to be repealed and the department disbanded.... immediately.
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