A Blount County deputy accused of driving to North Carolina to have sex with a minor has been fired.
James Eugene Patty Jr.,48, of Maryville, was arrested Thursday morning on charges of solicitation of a child by computer. He was taken to the Buncombe County Detention Center under a $50,000 bond, according to a release from the Asheville Police Department.
According to investigators, Patty traveled to Asheville to have a sexual encounter with an underage girl. He was arrested after an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force investigation by the APD, the State Bureau of Investigation, and the Boone Police Department.
The release notes that they were also assisted by the Tennessee ICAC Task Force and the Blount County Sheriff's Office.
On Friday, Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong said Patty was terminated shortly after his arrest.
"I will not tolerate the actions and behavior of James Patty or any other deputy who breaks the law or acts unethically," Sheriff Berrong said. "His actions are an embarrassment and a black mark on me and the men and women of the Blount County Sheriff's Office and law enforcement in general."
Berrong went on to say, "The act of one does not take away the good deeds of others. This agency proudly serves the citizens of Blount County. I understand that an apology for Patty's actions on behalf of this agency may not be enough, but it is my hope that our citizens will realize that his actions are not a reflection of the fine deputies who serve with honor and integrity each day."