Update: Tom Caldwell issued the statement below Friday afternoon announcing his intentions to continue his campaign for Floyd Sheriff in 2020.
From Floyd County Sheriff Tim Burkhalter: Today Floyd County Sheriff Chief Deputy Tom Caldwell was relieved of Command by me for Conduct unbecoming of an officer. Chief Deputy Caldwell had been ordered directly by me to campaign off duty and not on taxpayer time. Both candidates for sheriff had been directed that this was a dismissable offense. Chief Deputy Caldwell chose to go to a former supporters home yesterday, in full uniform and question her about her allegiance to his campaign. This citizen informed me that she was concerned about his behavior and asked that he not return.
In a previous report, Sheriff Burkhalter had expressed his concern about the pressure usually put on employees at the Sheriff’s Office to support one candidate over another. In order to avoid any disruption to the office, Burkhalter had already asked both candidates to take a leave of absence for the campaign beginning in January 2019.
“I have already spoken with both of them and they will be taking a leave of absence in January so they can campaign without employees feeling the brunt of the election. We want our staff to feel comfortable supporting one candidate over another without fear of retribution,” he said.