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The Great Smoky Mountain Journal


Tuesday, January 01, 2019 02:39 PM

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Christian Based PAC Criticizes TN Sheriff For Bringing Incognito Inmates To Church Service

A new political action committee that describes itself as a "Biblically-based conservative group" has criticized a Tennessee sheriff for bringing incognito inmates to a church service.

The Christians for Accountable Leadership PAC released a video Thursday attacking Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson for a May 2017 Facebook post in which he said jail programs had changed the lives of "former inmates." Accompanying photos showed 10 men in street clothes at a Council Baptist Church service.

The Tennessee Department of Correction said Wednesday that nine of those men were then state prisoners, not former inmates. CAL spokesman Josh Standifer told The Chattanooga Times Free Press that the post misled and endangered the public.

Sheriff's office spokesman James Bradford says it's common for prisoners to be taken to public events with supervision.