Martin County officials want names removed from letter of support

By Angela Sparkman | 

Four Martin County officials are asking the Johnson County Commonwealth's Attorney to remove their names from a letter supporting the former Big Sandy Detention Center board chairman.

John Harmon is charged with theft.

Harmon's attorney's filed the letter as part of a motion asking the judge to dismiss the charges.

Attorneys say the former jail board chairman is innocent and submitted the letter as proof.

The letter is signed by the Martin County sheriff, judge-executive, deputy-judge-executive, and county clerk who each say Harmon is an honest person.

Now the four want their names removed from the letter.

Harmon is accused of unlawfully submitting travel vouchers for unauthorized travel expenses from Martin County to the Big Sandy Detention Center in Johnson County.

He is also accused of using jail money for unauthorized trips.

"He is innocent of these charges. We think all of the expenses were appropriate, and we think there was absolutely no criminal conduct here whatsoever." Jerry Patton, Harmon's Attorney said.

Harmon's attorneys filed a motion for dismissal claiming the indictment is too vague.

"He's done nothing wrong and there's no basis for these allegations." Patton said.

As part of their proof, Harmon's attorneys submitted a letter signed by Martin County Judge-Executive Kelly Callaham, Deputy Judge Mike Crum, Clerk Carol Sue Mills, and Sheriff Garmon Preece.

The letter says, quote, Harmon is a "hard-working, honest, truthful person," and state they do not believe the charges have merit and think he will be cleared of any wrong-doing.

However, the four officials recently sent individual letters to the Commonwealth's Attorney asking for their names to be removed because they do not know the facts of the case.
"I have full confidence in the prosecution, the grand jury, everybody involved, we have faith in the system. I have full confidence in them and i believe the truth will prevail." Martin County Judge Executive Kelly Callaham said.

The Commonwealth's Attorney says they cannot comment on the case.

The judge has not ruled on the motion yet.

Harmon and former Jail Administrator Henry "Butch" Williams are expected to be arraigned Friday morning in Johnson County.

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