published Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Hamilton County deputy chief demoted after harassing officers

A Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputy chief of corrections received a demotion after he made numerous offensive comments to officers, according to a 446-page internal affairs report released today.

Ron Parson will be demoted to captain on or before May 1. In his new assignment, he will oversee the court officers and civil process, Sheriff Jim Hammond wrote on April 9.

“The investigation has disclosed sustainable events where Deputy Chief Parson has made offensive comments to corrections officers that are perceived as being degrading, disrespectful, and have created a hostile and intimidating work environment with fear of reprisal,” the report states.

An investigation concerning Parson was kicked off after he repeatedly made harrassing comments about Cpl. George Jackson’s weight.

“Parson said he felt sorry for the chairs having to hold us up,” Jackson wrote in his complaint dated Dec. 17.

Other corrections officers interviewed also voiced complaints about Parson’s comments toward them.

By the time the investigation wrapped up, there were a total of 10 incidents investigated with 22 sheriff’s office employees.

In at least one of the incidents, Parson was untruthful with investigators, according to the report.

Parson was assigned to oversee the jail in June 2011. His transfer from patrol came just a week after the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported on internal affairs records showing that Parson had Corrections Deputy Ryan Epperson complete a paper for him when he was attending the Southeastern Command and Leadership Academy through the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Parson was never disciplined and continued to supervise Epperson.

In the latest internal affairs investigation, Epperson was again linked to Parson.

For more on this story, read Wednesday’s Times Free Press.

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