11/23/2009 Police Chief Hired Without Background Check

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Police Chief Hired Without Background Check

11/23/2009 WSMV-TV

IRON CITY, Tenn. — A police chief in Lawrence County is off the job after the Channel 4 I-Team raised questions about his past.

Jesse Barnett had previously been fired from one police department and forced to resign from another because of inappropriate behavior.

Even after these previous incidents, Channel 4 learned that the town of Iron City hired Barnett as their police chief without doing a background check.

For the last seven months, Barnett was essentially the law in Iron City, but he’s developed a reputation around town.”We all want to get rid of him, most of us,” said Iron City resident Charles Etheredge.

“He’s not qualified in my book, and the people in Iron City, the citizens, are not satisfied with him,” said Iron City resident James Heatherly.

There are questions not just about how Barnett did his job, but how he got his job. How does someone who’s lost two jobs in law enforcement then become the chief of another police department?

The city manager in charge of hiring Barnett in Iron City never did a background check. But if he would have, he would have found out a lot about Barnett’s past.

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