News Article: Corruption in the Cocke County Sheriff' department link below.
Corrupt County Sheriff's Office Hassles Veteran with PTSD and Refuses to Acknowledge Wrong Doing.
Marine Cpl James W "Bill" Beason earned a Purple Heart while serving in An Hoa, Vietnam from 1969-70. Beason suffers from PTSD. His statement follows;
Friday night (July 4th, 2008) as the Super Late Model race was ending at Newport Speedway I noticed all the emergency vehicles were moving toward the helo pad. (A driver had been seriously injured). I went down to interview the race winner but, was interrupted by Ron Crane, speedway G. M., so he could start the fireworks show, which was not scheduled until after the next race.
Lights go off, fireworks start. I walk down the speedway toward turn four to get a better view when I am approached by someone in the dark wearing a fireman's coat whom demands I stop the fireworks show, which I had no control over because fireworks are preset on timers. I told him to talk to a track official who could relay the request to someone up in the tower. I noticed the EMT/fireman was very tense and decided I needed a witness! I call to Speedway Manager Ron Crane to come over and handle the situation. He is too busy watching the fireworks. I turn to walk away & the fireman, whom was later identified as Randy Renner, grabs me by the left shoulder which is a BIG no-no. Never grab a man with PTSD from behind while speaking in a demanding voice! I used my better judgement.
At this point, the EMT/fireman tells me he is an EMT & if I "did not know that stands for Emergency Management Technican and as of this moment Newport Speedway was non-functional". He also told me he "was officially in control of everything from that moment on". He continued by telling me if I refused "to stop the damn fireworks show", he would have me arrested for delaying in the aid of a wounded man". He also informed me, "we can make the ride downtown very uncomfortable for you". He was disking out all this stupid talk about the speedway was not setup to handle a crisis situation and making so many threats that I could not even think properly. I told him I was an employee, not a Newport Speedway track official, to go talk to Crane whom I call for a second time to come witness what was said. He is too busy shaking hands with several people.
Meanwhile, county deputy Derrick Webb came over and I asked him to identify the fireman whom had only mumbled his name and won't repeat it. Webb said "Yeah, I know him. Don't take any shit off him. We run around together, get drunk and raise hell together." He never identifies him. Webb then noticed Renner was upset & said "lighten up, dude". The deputy then patted the EMT on the back and said, "This is my buddy, you fuck with him, you fuck with me".
I took my glasses off & asked, "Is that a threat?" From the look on his face, Webb realizes he just said the wrong thing. I immediately responded out loud, "Uh hummm, the ol teaming up on the announcer routine, huh?" I put the mic behind my back with the switch turned on hoping the audience would hear was was being said.
When they realized their voices were going out over the PA system, they ran back about eight feet from me and yelled, "Turn the fucking microphone off now" Webb then starts bouncing around like a boxer and asked if I "want some of him?" He said, "You sure looked like you wanted some of me when you took off your glasses a minute ago". He then grabbed me by the shirt near the throat and said, "Come on motherfucker, we'll show you not to fuck with the law. We are from Cosby & we have ways to take care of people like you." Realizing I needed a witness, I call for Crane a third time. By now, my anxiety is building to the point of no return. I actually thought of grabbing Webb's weapon and unloading it on him. But, realizing he was a punk with a uniform (under the color of the law) my better judgement prevailed.
By now, both have violated my "free-air-space" by getting right in my face & telling me Renner was a part time deputy, among a list of other rescue, fire and law enforcement certificates which I quickly realized made him a man-of-authority, but only in his mind. It was rapidly becoming a tag team match with Renner & Webb making threatening comments and outright harassment. The two continue intimating me with threats like "don't mess with us and do not report what was just said or...we have ways to take care of rats, snitchers and your kind, mister smart-ass". Continuing, they "could stop me whenever I got out in the county" They even threatened my life with a remark about blowing-up my home. And, if "I did not stop stalling around I was going to jail".
By then, I am very shaken & have decided it is best to do as they have demanded & make a mental report of their abuse of power for later. So, I informed the audience that the track was "for the moment shut down until we could get a helicopter in to airlift the injured driver to a hospital".
I continued by doing something I knew was impossible...I asked for the fireworks technicians to stop the fireworks. I then shut off the mic and started toward the tower, away from the two so-called law enforcement thugs with a badge.
This was not good enough for Webb & Renner, they get in my face a again and demand I continue to yell at the fireworks guys, on the mike, until they stop or they would see that Newport Speedway would be shutdown tonight, next week and if the injured man dies, would never open again.
Suddenly, the speedway lights came back on and Webb asks if everything is okay and says "it better be" with a nod of "I-got-your-number" look. He then took off running toward the outside exit.
Finally, Crane comes over and does not ask me, but tells me "that is about enough out of you, Bill".
After the race, I went home and spent a sleepless night recalling the fireman and deputy in my face. The incident kept replaying over & over in my mind! I got out of bed and typed everything to keep the order of events in their historical order.
On Monday, I call Sheriff Claude "Clod" Strange and report the incident. I told him I had PTSD, to which he laughs and asks what I want him to do. I tell him to suspend the two deputies until an investigation. He laughs again. I hang up & emailed county mayor Iliff McMahan about the incident
I did get a return email from McMahan the next day whom informed me that the matter was judicial, not legislative. However, he said he would send my email to county attorney Fletcher Ervin and a copy to Sheriff Strange and other county commission members.
I checked my phone messages & discovered a call from Sheriff Strange who appeared shaken by saying, "Bill, this is Claude. I just received a very disturbing email from Mayor McMahan. Call me back about this very important matter." I did not return his call since he wasn't helpful to my call the day before.
I called Attorney General Jim Dunn and he says my civil rights were violated and he would investigate the incident. He recommends I call the FBI which, after the advice of my VA doctor, I do.
The agent I spoke with was not helpful & just went through the motions and asked me to email the info on the incident. He did NOT identify himself and only gave me a bland email address which contained no one's name. I sent the info feeling nothing would be done. Since that time, Dunn has turned his email off and will not return my phone calls. So far, I have been right about nothing being done.
I have been a citizen of Cocke County most of my life and have never been in trouble with any law enforcement agency. As a radio deejay, I have performed tons of public service assistance with the sheriff's and police department over the years on the radio and in public appearances.
I have no arrest records and have never been in trouble with law enforcement. Now, I have been intimidated, harassed & threatened by a couple of thugs. Cocke County has a very long history of corruption in it's Sheriff's Department. (see the history on Cocke County below from The Knoxville New Sentinel).Three months have passed and I have not heard a word from Attorney General Dunn, the FBI, or the sheriffs' department. My report apparently has been tucked under the rug. On September 29th, 2008 Mayor McMahan FINALLY sent me an email basically designed to cover his job. (see below) And, upon speaking with county attorney Fletcher Ervin on 9/29/08, I discovered he had never looked at the first complaint I filed on July 7th. I will not stop until I get a written apology from Strange!
Update: Several local residents have announced their candidacy for Sheriff of Cocke County. They have asked Beason to help in the campaign to remove Strange from office. Time to get good ole boy "Clod" out of office.Also, it has been revealed Derrick Webb has committed perjury and lied under oath against his fellow law enforcement officers. Over the past several years, he has been fired by the Newport Police Department and The Pigeon Forge Police Department. Can you smell a rat? A dog always returns to it's vomit!
In addition, Randy Renner's father, J E Renner, served as deputy for Cocke County during the 70s & 80s, the cocaine, chop shop years! Recently, Sheriff "Clod" Strange asked the Cocke County Legislation Body to give his department an additional $198K for gasoline for 2009. This request comes after it was revealed "Clod's Crew" uses county patrol cars while working off duty at Newport Speedway and other off duty jobs. In addition, they wear their uniforms and weapons... direct violation and waste of Cocke County taxpayer's money.
Additionally, Newport Speedway (Ed Surrett & Ron Crane) refuse to acknowledge the incident ever occurred, continuing to add to the corruption that has engulfed Newport & Cocke County for decades. Look for a boycott soon on Newport Speedway!
According to a Justice Department report, one third of all corruption in America is the direct result of law enforcement. That includes attorney generals, attorneys representing law enforcement, drug task forces and others connected to law enforcement. It's called "Under Color Of The Law" or hiding behind the badge. In fact, Attorney General Dunn's Drug Task Force has been sued for $10 million plus for false arrests of a UPS employee and a factory worker!The old adage, power corrupts is very true and getting worse everyday. Eventually, these thugs have to be held accountable! If not, more vets, PTSD victims and innocent people will continue to be abused by those entrusted to "serve and protect'.
Bill was a Tennessee radio DJ for many years.
I finally found the address on the history of corruption in the Cocke County Sheriff' department.
Below is the email Bill Beason received from his mayor.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: 9/29/2008 2:34:43 PM
Subject: RE: Update
Thanks for all your emails concerning this very serious issue of PTSD, and all the American veterans it effects. I am a Viet Nam era veteran and I know veterans that have been coping with PTSD for years. I do have some understanding of what people and their families go through, although not first hand.
I spoke to the Sheriff about this matter right after you informed me of the incident at the Newport Speedway. He assured me that he was going to handle this appropriately. The Sheriff is a seperate constitutional officer and, by law, doesn't take direction from any other county office including the County Mayor. So this matter needs to be handled by him. I will forward this to our County Attorney, Fletcher Ervin and ask him to look into this matter and speak to the Sheriff. I believe that would be the proper approach to addressing this matter. I also suggest that you might want to discuss this with our County Attorney. His telephone # is 623.1389.
I will also forward the other emails you sent to me reguarding your research on PTSD. Thanks so much, Bill and I hope that this gets the attention to this matter that you are seeking.
Iliff McMahan, Jr.
Cocke County Mayor
360 East Main Street
Suite 146 - Courthouse Annex
Newport, TN 37821
Office of the Attorney General Phone - 202-353-1555
If you can help Bill in anyway, please email him.
(If you can call and/or email certain figures, please be respectful.)
BILL's U.S. Senators' Contact Information Is Below
Tennessee's Governor's and State's Attorney General's contact information are below.
Contact Information: Anyone wishing to speak to Bill Beason's local Attorney General James Bruce “Jimmy” Dunn directly should call his Administrative Assistant Judy Watson. (865) 429-7021 EXT. 105
Please call Attorney General James Bruce Dunn's office (Above), since he has closed down the below email and he does not return Bill Beason's phone calls. (I guess Attorney General Dunn is hoping the disabled PTSD vet will just go away. But Bill Beason is not giving up.)
Local Attorney General James B 'Jimmy' Dunn's email
Cocke County Commissioner ILIFF Mc Mahan email
Cocke County Sheriff's Department: Sheriff Claude Strange
111 Court Ave Newport, Tennessee 37821
Phone: (423)623-6004 Fax: (423)623-4071.
The State of Tennessee's Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr.
P.O. Box 20207
Nashville, Tn. 37202
Phone Number: 615-741-3491
Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen
Contact Information For Bill's Congressman David Davis
Email the Congressman
514 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
phone -- 202-225-6356
fax -- 202-225-5714
8:30AM - Until Session is Complete
9 AM to 5:30PM when the House is not in Session
Office Located on the Campus of Northeast State
2425 Highway 75
Blountville, TN 37617
P.O. Box 1039 – TCAS
Blountville, TN 37617
District Office Hours
8 AM - 4:30 PM
Office Located in Morristown
1609 College Park Drive, Suite 4
Morristown, TN 37813
***Due to the U.S. House mail security protocol, it is faster to either fax the information or send it to the District Office. Mail to the Washington office may take up to 4 weeks extra time to be processed***
BILL's U.S. Senators Contact Information
|Alexander, Lamar- (R - TN)
|455 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
|Web Form: alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact....
|Corker, Bob - (R - TN)
|185 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
|Web Form: corker.senate.gov/Contact/index.cfm
WHERE DOES YOUR OWN MEMBER OF CONGRESS STAND ON THIS ISSUE? CALL HIM OR HER AND FIND OUT...
Click here to: EMAIL YOUR CONGRESSMEN http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Click here to: EMAIL YOUR SENATORS http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Office of the Attorney General Phone - 202-353-1555