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by Sharon Rondeau

Is this what the ceiling of the Monroe County jail looks like? How many building code violations are there in that facility?

(Nov. 27, 2010) — The following email was sent to the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance today:

Hello, Sir, I am the editor of an online newspaper, The Post & Email, Inc. (www.thepostemail.com), and we have been covering government corruption in Monroe County.  As a result, we have learned of horrendous conditions within the detention facility at 319 Hickory Street, Madisonville, which would surely violate any state building code.

I am requesting that you launch a formal investigation into the Monroe County detention facility, including plumbing fixtures, running water or lack thereof, lack of heat in the winter, black mold throughout the jail cells, overcrowding and now the report of raw sewage seeping out of exposed piping in a community room where overflow inmates are forced to sleep when there are no beds, which reportedly is frequently the case.

The following are articles I have written after speaking directly with an inmate at the facility:





I will be calling you on Monday as a follow-up to this email.

Sincerely yours,

Sharon Rondeau
The Post & Email, Inc.


According to Wikipedia, “Building code and fire code violations are crimes punishable by law.”

Penalties for failing to comply with state health regulations in the state of Tennessee can be costly.  Disciplinary reports list the name of the individual or business, the violation, amount of the fine levied, and the month in which the disciplinary action was taken.  If someone can be fined $2,000 for practicing hairdressing without a license, what would the fine be for raw sewage leaking onto a floor where inmates, many of them imprisoned wrongfully, are forced to sleep due to the human trafficking that is being practiced by the sheriff of the county?

A complete list of Monroe County officials is here.

Contact information on the Monroe County Health Department is here.

The state Health Commissioner is Ms. Susan R. Cooper, who can be reached at 615-741-3111.

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  1. I faxed a letter, similar to yours, to the Dept of Health. I also sent an Email to Rep Eric Watson and Debra Young Maggart. I received a note from Rep Watson who said he would check into it. I have not yet heard from Rep Maggart, but it is a holiday week.
    Thank you for keeping this issue in the news.

  2. I called the TN Dept. of Health on 11/10/10, and I was told ‘the Sheriff is in charge and answers to the Mayor’.

    Maybe if they get enough calls, they will do something. ???

    1. I’m sorry. I told you wrong. I called the TN Dept. of Health, and they referred me to the TN Dept. of Corrections, who told me ‘the Sheriff is in charge of that, and he answers to the Mayor’.
      Mrs. Rondeau replies: It sounds as if the Health Dept. is already making excuses. A state entity should have jurisdiction over ANY facility within its borders that is violating building codes.

  3. Excellent! I went to the sites and decided I will also fax (423- 442-9468) the articles you included in your Email along with this one and my own letter of concern to the Monroe County Health Dept. I’ll also call Susan Cooper on Monday. This is something we can all do, either by Email, fax, phone calls or all of them! They sure can’t turn away the Health Dept.!
    Also wanted you to know, Sharon, that I sent a certified letter to Walter yesterday by Priority mail. It should arrive within 3 days and I will be receiving a notice of receipt in the mail. You can bet I will be calling MCSD to verify he has gotten it. Ask Walter when you speak to him next week. Tampering with the mail is a federal offense, you know…
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: Thank you, Alicia. I will let him know.