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West Tennessee sheriff indicted for profiting from inmate labor [Video]

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Officials say the sheriff of a rural Tennessee county illegally profited from the work of jail and prison inmates under his care and housed dozens of them.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The sheriff of a rural Tennessee county illegally profited from the work of jail inmates under his supervision and housed dozens of them in a home outside of the prison without permission, officials said Wednesday.

Paul Thomas, the sheriff of Gibson County, which is located northwest of Memphis, was indicted in May in Gibson and Davidson counties on 22 charges including official misconduct, theft, forgery and computer crimes involving jail inmates in his custody, Tennessee Comptroller Jason Mumpower said in a news release.

Thomas turned himself in to authorities this week and he is out on bond, said Davidson County district attorney Stacey Edmonson. Thomas’ lawyer said the sheriff deserves the presumption of innocence and he looks forward to defending …

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