Sheriff's employee charged with theft, misconduct

Sammetta Tennial (Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Department)
Sammetta Tennial (Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Department)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A clerk from an administrative bureau at the Shelby County Sheriff's Office was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from an office account.

Shelby County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Steve Shular said Sammetta Tennial, 37, was taken into custody early Tuesday afternoon at her 10th floor office at the Criminal Justice Center.

"It's always disturbing anytime you have an allegation of criminal wrong doing, especially when it comes from anyone on this side of the law," Shular said.

Detectives believe Tennial, who works in the Sheriff's Office Bureau of Commissions and Compliance, took small amounts of money over the past two years totaling as much as $6,000.

According to Shular, the Bureau of Commissions and Compliance handles a variety of duties including the issuing of Special Deputy Commissions, the registration of convicted sex offenders, bail bond employees, private process servers who deliver court papers and tracks Sheriff's Deputies who work additional jobs outside the Sheriff's Office.

Fees are required by some of those who register at the office, Shular said. A supervisor discovered money missing while reconciling the daily receipts and deposits.

"Once we got an inkling of this a couple of weeks ago, we immediately jumped on that," Shular said.

Tennial was indicted Tuesday by the Shelby County Grand Jury for Theft of Property over $1,000 and two counts of Official Misconduct. She is being held at the Shelby County Jail facility for women on a $10,000 bond.

Tennial has been a clerk with the Sheriff's Office since 2000. She was assigned to the Commissions and Compliance Bureau in 2005.

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