"A man who lives in a glass house should not throw stones," former Hamilton County Deputy Lonnie Hood said Tuesday in response to a recent statement by former Hamilton County Chief Deputy Jim Hammond that he was "disappointed" in Hood's guilty plea of conspiring to deal drugs in the jail.
Hood, 38, had entered guilty pleas to between five and seven charges in a federal indictment returned last December and agreed to assist prosecutors.
He made his comment as he emerged at noon from two and a half hours of testimony before a federal grand jury investigating possible illegal activities at the jail.
"All I can say is a man who lives in a glass house should not throw stones," stated Hood.
Hood was asked if he was possibly referring to the legal problems Hammond's daughter, Brandi McGill, experienced in the stabbing death of a man in her apartment.
"No," he responded. "I'm sure you can figure out what I mean. That's all I am going to say about it for now."
Hood testified before the federal grand jury for an hour last month and was scheduled for further testimony Tuesday afternoon.
Mr. Hammond, the Democratic nominee for sheriff, will face incumbent Sheriff John Cupp in the August general election.
The former chief deputy said in a political debate before the Red Bank Chamber of Commerce on April 21 that as sheriff he would aim to hire men and women of integrity and character to fill positions in the department.
Mr. Hammond expressed disappointment in Hood and Jeffrey Mahon, two former deputies, who entered guilty pleas to charges in the December indictment.
The Democratic candidate for sheriff said he was "personally disappointed" in the men hired on his watch who pleaded guilty.
Mr. Hammond said the former department employees will have to "pay the price."
When the indictment against Hood and six others was made public last December,
Mr. Hammond said he had worked with Hood for several years. He characterized Hood as "a good officer" and said if the charges were true he would be "shocked and disappointed."
Mr. Hammond said in December that he had never led an official investigation into steroid use by jailers.
He added that "allegations about steroid abuse have gone on for years."
Mr. Hammond was chief deputy under former Sheriff H.Q. Evatt until 1994.
Mr. Evatt did not seek re-election and Mr. Hammond, the Democratic nominee, lost narrowly to Sheriff Cupp, a Republican, in the August general election.
The indictment against Hood and six others charged that a conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids in the jail had been going on since 1991.
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