Deputies tangle over who to vote for in election for Shelby Co. Sheriff

By Janice Broach - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Two Shelby County sheriff's deputies are off the job after they allegedly got into a fight late last week.

According to Sheriff Mark Luttrell, two narcotics officers Lt. Scott Wright and Deputy Robert Jewell got into a confrontation on Friday over support for the top candidates for Sheriff.

During the argument, Wright put his hand on Jewell's neck.

Luttrell said it is not clear if the act was just horseplay.

"We don't want to bring politics in," Luttrell said. "We are going to take action against people who do that. It's just so important that law enforcement stay focused on our mission."

Lutrell said talking politics on the job is not a fireable offense, but if it is determined an assault occurred, that could be another matter.

"What we do know is they violated a very strict directive I issued some three or four months ago. It is politics has no place in the work place," he said.

Luttrell, who is running for mayor of Shelby County, said it can get stressful for deputies anytime they know a regime change is coming.  Luttrell says the investigation should be complete in a couple of days.

Jewell, meanwhile, has hired an attorney.

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