Sheriff David Woolfork Madison County

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Judge: Sheriff Woolfork Must Surrender Firearms by Friday Night

By Heather Mathis
By hmathis@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. -- Although Madison County Sheriff David Woolfork's attorney filed an appeal Thursday afternoon, the sheriff still has to surrender his firearms, according to Circuit Court Clerk Kathy Blount.

Woolfork's Attorney, Mark Donahoe, told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News after the hearing, and again by phone Thursday, the sheriff has no intention of surrendering his guns, because that is their interpretation of the law.

"If the appeal is filed that order is null and void. It doesn't apply," Donahoe said just minutes after the order was granted Wednesday night.

Blount said she spoke directly to Judge Phyllis Gardner who said otherwise.

"I spoke with Judge Phyllis Gardner this morning, and even though it is in appeal the order of protection will stay in place," Blount said.

If the Sheriff does not abide by the protection order and surrender his weapons, Judge Gardner can find him in contempt and determine what to do from there.

Sharon Sangster's attorney Deborah Godwin gave this statement:

"Sheriff Woolfork indicated to the court yesterday that he would abide by the Order of Protection and we expect him to do so. No one should be allowed to abuse another person, let alone an employee, the way he abused Ms. Sangster This situation is made even worse by the fact of the sheriff's position of power."

"Those are the laws for domestic abuse and we just have to follow them, everybody does," Blount said.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News contacted the P.O.S.T. Commission who trains and certifies law enforcement with firearms, they said because Woolfork is an elected official they have no authority to review his certification.

Woolfork must sign paperwork relinquishing his weapons at the Madison County Circuit Court Clerk's office by 8 p.m., Friday night.
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