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News Charges against MCSO detective dismissed

Macon County District Court dismissed charges regarding alleged communicating threats against Macon County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Detective Amy Stewart last Thursday. Court documents signed by prosecutor James H. Moore Jr., show the two criminal cases against Stewart were both dismissed.

The case involving alleged threats made via social media from Stewart toward a Franklin High School student were dismissed because “mediation successful.”

The second case involving Stewart and Macon County Schools' employee Anna Shields was dropped citing, “there is insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution for the following reasons; the statements and actions of the defendant do not constitute a threat as defined by law.”

The Macon County Sheriff's Office released a statement Tuesday morning in response to the charges being dropped. According to the MCSO release, the Civil Complaint filed by Anna Shields was dismissed and her request for a Temporary No-Contact Order was denied on January 8, 2013 by Chief District Court Judge Richlyn D. Holt because “The plaintiff has failed to prove grounds for issuance of a temporary no-contact order.”

The internal investigation into the allegations by the Macon County Sheriff’s Office will now be completed, since the legal proceedings have concluded. Detective Stewart remains employed with the Sheriff’s Office; she was briefly assigned to administrative duties and then re-assigned to her current position as a Juvenile Investigator. “I am confident that Detective Stewart will continue to be an asset to this office and dedicated to protecting children just as she has during her entire career with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Robbie Holland.

Dr. Jim Duncan, Interim Superintendent of the Macon County Schools, initially restricted Detective Stewart from being present on any school property. At Sheriff Holland's request, he revised the restriction to allow her on all school properties for “job-related” purposes, except for Franklin High School. “On Friday I met with Dr. Duncan, hand delivered a letter to him and requested that he remove all restrictions and allow her to be on any school property including Franklin High School and Dr. Duncan agreed to my request,” said Holland.

In Holland's letter to Dr. Duncan, he expresses his frustration with the charges against Stewart being issued in the first place. “These are the results that I expected and quite frankly I could not believe the Criminal Summonses were issued to begin with,” said Holland of the charges being dismissed. “That being said, the fact that Stewart's conduct did not rise to the level of a criminal violation in no way excuses her unprofessional behavior in either incident. As I told you previously, I can assure you that this personnel issue involving my officer will be dealt with accordingly at the conclusion of our internal investigation...I will make my final decision on the extent of disciplinary action that I deem appropriate.”

Because of the ban from Franklin High School and all related athletics, Stewart was prohibited from attending several of her daughter's basketball games including her daughter's senior night celebration. Once Dr. Duncan was informed of the charges against Stewart being dropped, he lifted the ban on Stewart, allowing her to return to Franklin High School without restrictions.

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