Drunk dialing has produced some poor decisions, but perhaps few as poor as attempting to blackmail the Rutherford County sheriff.
Sheriff Robert Arnold held a press conference Tuesday morning to announce a former deputy had sent him threatening e-mails from 1-3 o'clock Monday morning.
The former deputy, Jessica Lehew, 31, of Murfreesboro, threatened to go to the media with information about her estranged husband who is currently a corporeal in the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office booking and transportation department.
"This was a great big shocker to me for a former deputy," Arnold said, "to try to blackmail a sheriff is incredibly dumb."
And her stupidity was likely aided by alcohol.
"From what I was told, she was drinking ... That's what she told booking," Arnold said, referring to Jessica Lehew's arrest on one count of extortion Monday night. She was released short time later on a $2,500 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, Feb. 27.
Specifically, Jessica Lehew's e-mails questioned why she had been fired in November 2012 while her estranged husband Will Lehew was allowed to come back to work following an officer-involved shooting in 2010.
She then threatened to call local media to expose her husband's misconduct and drug addiction if Arnold "did not find (her) a county job."
"I've already got (Daily News Journal reporter) Mark Bell's phone number programmed in my phone, and I will call him," Lehew wrote.
The incident she referred to was in October 2010 when Will Lehew shot suspect Roland Garrison after a domestic dispute at Garrison's home in the Blackman community. Will Lehew was placed on routine administrative leave with pay while Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents conducted an investigation.
Garrison was admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and released the next day. He was charged with four counts of aggravated assault of Will Lehew and three other deputies.
"The TBI cleared him; the TBI drug tested him; the DA said put him back to work," Arnold said.
As far as Jessica Lehew's job performance, she was allegedly warned many times for missing work, sleeping on the job and insubordination, among other issues, before being fired from her post as a detention officer on Nov. 15, 2012.
Arnold said he knew Jessica Lehew was having problems with her marriage and the Sheriff's Office tried to work with her schedule, but her performance continued to suffer causing her termination.
"We did what we could, but it's pretty common for us to be dragged into messy divorces ..." Arnold said. "And anything an officer does can get drawn out into the media."