According to Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland, the sheriff’s office is currently investigating Board of Education member Tommy Baldwin for recent allegations that Nantahala community members claim may include inappropriate conduct with a minor or similar allegations. “We can confirm that we are aware of the allegations and have initiated an investigation, and the investigation is ongoing,” said Sheriff Holland.
During the Board of Education meeting Monday night, Board Chairman Tommy Cabe issued a statement verifying that the board is currently aware of the investigation and informed the public that any questions and comments should be directed to the Sheriff’s office. Baldwin was not present at the meeting.
As of Monday, no formal criminal or civil complaints have been filed against Baldwin in the county, according to the Macon County Clerk of Court’s office. According to Andrew Norton, a magistrate in Macon County, no officials in his office have served Baldwin. Any offenses perpetrated by an offender cannot be confirmed for public record by court officials until after they have been served.
A self-described member of the Nantahala community contacted The Macon County News and reported that Baldwin has been barred from the Nantahala School campus and was being investigated by authorities. According to her account, Baldwin has been prohibited from coaching the school’s basketball team after a student came forward with allegations of being inappropriately touched by Baldwin.
Superintendent Dr. Dan Brigman was unable to comment on the issue at this point and referred all questions to Sheriff Holland. “I can’t comment on anything that’s being investigated at this time,” said Brigman. “I am not aware of any of the details at this time.”
Macon County School’s attorney John Henning Jr. stated that at this point in the investigation, he was not sure on what areas he was able to comment.
The original version of this story published in the Nov. 22 issue of Macon County News was inaccurate in stating, "According to Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland, the sheriff's office is currently investigating Board of Education member Tommy Baldwin for allegations of inappropriate conduct with a minor," followed by the quote from Sheriff Holland. Holland did not indicate any specific allegations, but rather said that he was aware of the allegations in a general reference, and the department was investigating the matter. The sentence, in the first paragraph above, has now been changed to read more accurately. The Macon County News regrets the error.