Additional leave time denied for charged Marshall Co. deputies

Published: May. 11, 2015 at 8:47 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2015 at 9:06 PM CDT
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MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Marshall County Sheriff Scott Walls asked the county personnel board to allow more time on leave with pay for three deputies charged with criminal mischief.

The personnel board met on that issue Monday night, but no one seconded the motion when it was raised, thus denying the extension.

The deputies have been on leave since late March 2015 after they were charged with criminal mischief relating to the destruction of a "Chuck Ellis For Sheriff" campaign sign last fall.

MORE: Deputies in custody for destroying signs

Lieutenant Heath Thomas, Jeremiah McCormack, and Chris Bearden were all charged, along with Bearden's wife Tiffany and former deputy Lawayne Segars.

Some board members were troubled by the request.

"If they're accused for something, for criminal mischief, I can't see us extending that," said personnel board member Keith Swisher.

The candidate's father also questioned why they were on leave because the sheriff made comments in the fall supporting the deputies.

"If they were cleared, have no knowledge of any wrongdoing the day the internal investigation took place, then why suspend them?" asked Charles Ellis.

Some people felt they should work, but not have contact with the public.

"The board made the right decision," said Tonya Glasco, who filed the initial charges against the deputies, "but they need to let them sit behind a desk and do paperwork."

A special judge and prosecutors have been assigned to handle the case.

The trial is set for June 10.

Calls to Sheriff Scott Walls for comment were not returned.

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