When Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson suddenly stopped publishing mugshots and the booking log of who was booked into the jail as of Tuesday afternoon, it took the county of over 230,000 people by surprise — after all, Fuson had made improvements on making that information more publicly accessible in his decade as the elected Sheriff. The last line of his letter to the public gave a hint as to the reasoning, but few people knew the details at the time.
The published letter ended, “…you would feel different if it were you on the other side of the booking room camera.” It turns out the Sheriff wasn’t worried about himself but rather his daughter, who would soon likely be on “that side” of the booking room camera. In fact, now that the names are not even published, no one would even directly know who was being booked into jail, including his daughter or brother.
Sheriff Fuson is counting on no one knowing who is about to be booked into the jail. A source within the Sheriff’s Office tells Clarksville Today that Fuson made the decision to stop the publication of names and photos after a meeting this week in which he learned his daughter, Sarah Fuson, would be turning herself in during April after a Grand Jury Indictment is returned. The proceedings, which are supposed to be secret, reportedly have resulted in a pre-agreement being reached by her lawyer, Peter Strianse, before the indictment is even returned due to the reported video evidence in the case.
The alleged indictment stems from an incident at a daycare where Sarah Fuson worked. A child was reportedly shaken violently on video, resulting in an injury. Now that Fuson has disabled the display of names and photos of persons booked into the jail, folks would have to work extra hard to request public records from the Sheriff’s office directly to ever know about the eventual arrest and charge(s) — and that’s assuming he did not delay or deny them.
This is far from the first family favor the Sheriff is alleged to have given. His brother was initially given a pass after being indecent near a park on February 28th when he name-dropped his brother to a deputy. Despite the Sheriff’s initial wishes, and after Clarksville Today began asking questions, a citation was filed yesterday, charging his brother with two counts of incident exposure for the February incident.
I would be irresponsible if I didn’t address the elephant in the room — the daughter’s alleged intoxicated driving. Multiple sources within the department report that a deputy pulled over The Sheriff’s daughter, Sarah Fuson, in recent weeks for suspected driving under the influence, and Sheriff Fuson picked her up, so she was never charged, and no record was created.
Sheriff Fuson did not have a sudden ‘change of heart’ in removing the names and photos of people who are being booked into the jail — he made a selfish decision so his daughter would not face the humiliation of anyone knowing when she was booked. Would any of us do the same for our children? That’s hard to say, but even if we did, it would not be the right thing to do as an elected official. Putting the needs of one’s self over those of the community that elected you is the opposite of public service. John Fuson must step down as Sheriff of Montgomery County, as the citizens are no longer his number one priority. It’s understandable that he wants to put his family first, but he needs to do that in a non-elected capacity. As he reminds us in his letter, he is the “most powerful public official in the county,” and he must stop abusing that power.
Jason Steen / Editor: Clarksville Today
Note: Despite the booking logs and photos being public records under Tennessee Law, the department has not acknowledged or provided a response to multiple requests submitted to date for those records.
15 thoughts on “Editorial: Sheriff John Fuson Must Step Down — Family Favors Must End”
We all strive to be good parents and for all that is Holy I believe that in the case of the sheriff giving his family members a break and trying to hide it from the public he should resign and step away from the office that he was elected to.
This too cannot go unpunished and the TBI should be investigating the situation immediately.
I believe that the Sheriff is right to not allow a person to be pre judged, just by arrest, as guilty.
so often a person is arrested, made out in the media as guilty, publish their picture in Jail uniform,When they get to court, the Judge determines what the jury can and cannot consider.
once that happens….reguardless, they are guilty.
Step down Mr. Fusion, the mcsd mugshot back up today,no body gets special treatments not even the sheriff,and his family such disgrace!!!!
He abused his position to obstruct justice. Do we as regular law abiding citizens who are not connected people, would we be given the same treatment? If we let this slide, what is next? Daddy stepping in and covering up an accident or death? Politics starts here in our town not in Washington.
Well absolute power corrupts absolutely. Folks just think of all the people you know who lost jobs or opportunities due to the mug shots and or arrests. And now we learn that Johnny is really Barney! No wait Barney and Andy had integrity! I wonder who else has gotten off due to special treatment?
Well sir, do the right thing and resign!! You no longer deserve the faith and confidence WE THE citizens put in you!
What goes around comes around… nobody is perfect. A lot of us have been on the booking log whether we’re guilty or not.. cough cough Jason, but I mean damn we dealt with it as should his grown ass daughter. T
That’s mighty “wide” of you Sheriff, to take the side of the criminals over those you were elected by and sworn to protect. I’m sure the criminals are ecstatic to know they can carry on without the public, (whom they prey upon), seeing who they are and what they’ve done. You should be ashamed and embarrassed for a truly reckless and absurd decision to side with those who break the law over those who dont.
I am always amazed when elected officials do the “I suddenly saw the light” dance in front of the people who elected them to justify the stupid thing they just did. As they used to say in the military: “The higher you go up the flagpole, the more your backside shows.” True once again. I’ve written the County Mayor to remind him that I voted for him and that I expect he do something.
Publishing mug shots shouldn’t ever been allowed. You are automatically guilty in the eyes of the public. The proper way this should be handled is to publish court records with final results.
Another thing Clarksville needs to change is the newspaper article when someone is arrested. I personally think a reporter should be liable for slander after they publish an article prior to the defendant being proven guilty.
This Sheriff should resign or the mayor needs to fire him. His brother only got a citation because the public called for it. His daughter needs to put on the booking log just like all the other people that have been arrested. What is good for one is good for us all!
The sheriff also be charged with concealing crime. He is not above the law. The privilege card needs to END.
His daughters pussy is STANKY 🤣
A buddy of mine dated her a few times & once they were getting hot n heavy _ he went down in her & started gagging …. He ended up barfing
All this public “pretrial” judgement shows many are not suited for any type of jury duty.
I totally 👍
While I agree that mugshots for the unconvicted should not be published as a matter of course, this decision was corrupt and self-serving. This sheriff is acting like the Platonic ideal of a conservative: Empathy is only a factor when you and yours are affected.