News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Case of Morgan sheriff’s wife handled poorly

Obviously, Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett and his wife are having serious marital problems. And the community hurts for them as they appear headed to divorce court to break up their 20-year marriage.

Yet, the likelihood of marriages succeeding in today's society bucks the odds. Married couples are now in the minority.

That, however, doesn't take away the pain of seeing a family unit break up. We wish them well as they go about re-establishing their lives and taking care of their two sons.

Another matter concerning the couple, however, is also disturbing. Official records show that Decatur police stopped Barbara Bartlett in the wee hours of Nov. 8, hours after Mr. Bartlett won re-election. Police had a report that the driver of a white Cadillac leaving the Racetrac service station on Alabama 20 appeared to be driving suspiciously. The report said the car continuously changed lanes.

Police stopped the vehicle after it crossed the Tennessee River. Sheriff Bartlett arrived and took his estranged wife with him.

She was not given a Breathalyzer test to see if she was intoxicated, which is usually the case in such circumstances.

One might say, "Gee, she's the sheriff's wife, what the heck did you expect him to do?"

The simple answer is the expectation was that the police would follow usual procedure and that the sheriff would insist on them handling the case by the book.

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