A former Rutherford County Sheriff’s detective seeking election against Sheriff Robert Arnold denied allegations that he had improper communication with a 17-year-old girl 10 years ago and instead contended that the sheriff took advantage of unfounded charges to make his work environment “hostile.”
Ralph Mayercik called an internal investigation stemming from a woman’s complaint about his conduct “too coincidental” as he runs against Arnold and former Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Bob Asbury in the May 6 Republican primary.
“If she had an issue with me 10 years ago, why didn’t she come forward?” Mayercik said. He called his accusers “not credible” and said the sheriff “capitalized” on the allegations against him to hurt his candidacy.
Mayercik resigned Jan. 31 even though the internal investigation found no conclusive evidence of unprofessional conduct. He said he requested a transfer to the county’s correctional work center but was told by superiors he would be shifted to the county jail, which is overseen by the sheriff.
Sheree Brew brought her complaint against Mayercik to the sheriff’s office early this year, alleging that he had an unprofessional relationship with her daughter, Sherry Wells, starting in 2004 when Mayercik began investigating a harassment case.
Brew accused him of communicating with her daughter when she was 17 and later buying her beer at a bar when she was 20 after taking her for rides on his Harley-Davidson. Wells said she kissed Mayercik on more than one occasion but that they never had sex.
A sheriff’s internal finding also notes that Mayercik’s interaction with Wells continued for several years and that they met at places such as Stampedes bar on Thompson Lane. Mayercik, in the internal report, acknowledged that he might have seen her at social places he frequented Murfreesboro, but he adamantly denied any improper contact.
The sheriff’s internal investigator Lt. Nathan Page ultimately determined there was no conclusive evidence against Mayercik because of conflicting statements, though he did give the women’s detailed report credibility. He found only one call on Mayercik’s phone connected to Wells, one in which she is said to have supported his run for sheriff. No improper information could be found on his iPad.
Mayercik said the only wrongdoing the department found against him was inappropriate recordings of conversations with superior officers. He said he was unaware that was prohibited and started recording those conversations to protect himself when he began considering a run for the sheriff’s office in late 2012.
The former 18-year detective, who applied to work at the county’s correctional work center after leaving the sheriff’s office, said he went to the Brew home several times when he was investigating a stalking case a decade ago. In that time, he said he developed a friendly relationship with the family but that he did nothing unlawful. He said he did communicate with Wells when she got older but called it “normal adult communication.”
Mayercik said he believes the internal investigations stems directly from his decision to run for office. Former Detective Jim Tramel, an independent, was fired in June 2013 after he told the sheriff he was running for election against him. Tramel is taking legal action against the county.