Fire Chief Put on Leave after Substance Found in his Locker

Click here for more coverage of TennesseeA fire and rescue captain from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, has been placed on administrative leave after an inspection on Tuesday at his Fire Station. The locker that belongs to Captain Theodore Pertiller of Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Station 3 had a “Brown Substance” within.

The inspection was prompted by another Fire Captain, Ricky Jones who reported to the Murfressboro Police that he discovered two mostly smoked marijuana joints inside the station shortly after he arrived to work on Sunday, according to the police reports. Jones told the police that he found one of the joints on the ground behind a fire truck that was parked in the station garage, and the second one, also partially smoked, was found in an area where employees park their vehicles, and according to police reports, it was found on top of a half-eaten Oreo Cookie. Jones found one right after the other at 7:30 am, photographed them, then put them into a bag and turned them into a supervisor, who in turn contacted the police.

The other substance was found when it fell out of Pertiller’s locker when the investigators asked him to empty it for inspection on Tuesday. The small brown substance was held in a folded paper and just fell out of his locker. The investigators have sent the joints, along with the newly found “brown substance” to the state Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab in Nashville for identification. A field test found the joints tested positive for marijuana, and the field test of the brown substance tested negative for opiates, so we aren’t quite sure what they found in Fire Captain Petillers locker. He was placed on administrative leave with pay, after the inspection on Tuesday, waiting for an outcome of the full investigation into the incidents in reference to the substance that was recovered from his locker.

Police have not commented on if they believe the two incidents are connected. Pertiller has been placed on leave before. He was charged twice last year by Murfreesboro Police in two separate incidents. He was charged with felony aggravated assault in reference to an April 2 incident at a sports arena, during which he punched a patron in the throat during a pickup basketball game. He later plead guilty to reduced charges of misdemeanor assault.

Captain Pertiller was arrested and jailed again May 15 for a domestic assault incident involving his wife, which began with a verbal argument while he was on duty at MFRD Fire Station 3.  While Pertiller was placed on administrative leave following the May incident, he was later allowed to return to work.

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