Jim Ruth

Bradley County Sheriff 2010 – 2014

To the good citizens of Bradley County,

It was an honor to have served you as Sheriff of Bradley County from 2010 through 2014, and to have served in law enforcement for 42 years. It has saddened me that I made a big mistake when I was your Sheriff. When the Chief Deputy and Major was in the process of firing Mr. Eric Watson for continuing to try to cheat the county out of money I, out of the kindness of my heart, decided to allow Watson to resign instead. I should have known better, because when someone has that kind of character they don’t generally change their behavior. I think we have witnessed that in the last 3 1/2 years or so.

It is my sincere conviction that things in our county and Sheriff’s Office must change for the good of all our citizens and for all the good people at the Sheriff’s Office, also. I am convinced that Mr. Steve Lawson is the man that can make that change for the good. It is his time to be the top law enforcement officer in the county, and I hope that you, the citizens of this great county, embrace that as true. It is certainly my conviction, also, that Bradley County and the people at the Sheriff’s Office deserve much better than they have received under Sheriff Watson’s time in office. Since 1836 when the Sheriff’s Office in our county was created, only one sheriff, Eric Watson, has been indicted while in office. Even though his charges have been dropped and the TBI seems to have stopped their investigation, it doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t change the tarnish on law enforcement in general and the dissatisfaction, or the morale at the Sheriff’s Office.

It is apparent that Mr. Watson is a self serving sheriff and interested in making much more money than the office pays. Don’t we need a sheriff, not only satisfied with his salary, but one that has the best interest of all citizens as his priority.

Since most of my adult life has been in law enforcement, I have witnessed many changes for the better. I am concerned that the direction of law enforcement does not go backward, but forward into the future for the betterment of all. I am praying that will happen. I believe Steve Lawson to be the man to take us in the right direction. He has proven himself as an investigator and as a leader. That is why I am endorsing Steve Lawson for the next Bradley County Sheriff.

– Former Sheriff Jim Ruth

Tim Gobble

Bradley County Sheriff 2006-2010

When I served as sheriff one of the best decisions I made was to appoint Steve Lawson as Captain of the Criminal Investigations Division. Steve is straightforward and his integrity is unsurpassed. It was largely through Steve’s leadership of our team of detectives that we were able to lock up more criminals and significantly reduce overall crime in the county. Steve was directly responsible for the saturation coverage of problem areas and directing investigations that reduced thefts and burglaries by 25 percent.

Through subsequent years, Steve has continued to provide this same level of service excellence.

Today, Bradley County can be proud of having some of the best crime statistics in the state directly because of Steve Lawson’s leadership.

I think Steve Lawson will make a great sheriff and will serve this County with honor and distinction. He is the kind of person we need serving as our sheriff.

Dan Gilley

Bradley County Sheriff 1986-2006

Having served as your sheriff for nearly 20 years, I know what it takes to conduct the office in an honest and ethical manner. I believed then, and I still believe today, a sheriff must have integrity, and above all else, he must be truthful with the people he serves.

I have known Steve Lawson for over 40 years. We have worked together, and we have run against each other in past elections. Despite our political rivalry, I have held a deep respect for Steve’s professionalism, as well as for his honesty and integrity.

The time has come for Steve to be elected to the office of sheriff, and to lead this great department out from under the dark cloud it has endured for the past three years. We need a new sheriff who will bring respect back to the office, and Steve Lawson is exactly the right person at the right time.

I ask every citizen of Cleveland and Bradley County to help elect Steve Lawson our next sheriff.

Robert Lawson

Bradley County Sheriff 1980-1986

Honesty – Trustworthiness -Professionalism, three ingredients absolutely necessary for the successful management of a law enforcement agency. The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office has been lacking that kind of leadership for years. Steve Lawson epitomizes all those qualities and will return dignity and respect to the office of Sheriff. As a former Sheriff, I know the kind of commitment it takes to provide effective law enforcement to this community. Steve Lawson is well prepared and well qualified to lead the Sheriff’s Department. He has the expertise and experience to restore the leadership that is so sorely needed. Please join me in electing Steve Lawson Sheriff of Bradley County. It is time.