TBI investigating dismissed Mount Carmel police lieutenant

Rain Smith • Apr 25, 2013 at 12:18 PM

MOUNT CARMEL — A lieutenant with the Mount Carmel Police Department has been terminated from the force, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has confirmed he is included in an investigation the agency is currently conducting.

Due to the continuing case, TBI spokesperson Kristin Helm declined to comment on the allegations against Chris Jones, how they were brought forward or when the investigation began.

It marks the second time in less than five years that Jones has been involved in a TBI investigation. No criminal action came out of the previous probe, though it did prompt his removal from Tennessee’s Meth Task Force.

Mount Carmel Police Chief Mike Campbell told the Times-News that Jones was terminated Monday evening. He has since hired an attorney, according to Campbell, and filed a grievance.

Campbell said those factors, combined with the TBI investigation, prohibit him from elaborating on the circumstances of Jones’ departure from the force. Jones will later go before the Mount Carmel Board of Mayor and Aldermen for an appeal of his firing.

Along with his duties in the MCPD, Jones served as a Hawkins County commissioner from 2006 through 2010 and was previously employed as full-time chief of the Mount Carmel Volunteer Fire Department. He also spearheaded organization of the town’s Christmas parade for several years.

Jones was a member of Tennessee’s Meth Task Force up until 2008, when the TBI declined to renew his contract within the drug unit. That was due to his involvement with Federal Communications Commission agents who allegedly presented themselves as law enforcement to Church Hill police.

Jones was reportedly privy to an undercover FCC investigation into someone “keying” over the radio communications of a Mount Carmel police officer. During a traffic stop that Church Hill police conducted on the FCC agents, Jones, who was an MCPD officer at the time, allegedly vouched for them as being Meth Task Force officers — a pre-determined cover story for the clandestine FCC probe. Following a TBI investigation of the incident, no charges were placed.

As of Wednesday afternoon, no date had been set for Jones’ appeal hearing before the Mount Carmel BMA.

The TBI provided no further information on the current investigation.

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