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News Sheriff’s Office investigating one of their own

Two criminal summonses filed against MCSO detective.

The Macon County Sheriff's Office has launched an internal investigation into allegations brought against Detective Amy Stewart. On Sunday Jan. 6, the Sheriff’s Office served two criminal summonses on a Macon County Sheriff’s Office employee for communicating threats.

“Detective Amy Stewart was officially served the summonses on Sunday morning by Sheriff Holland,” reads a statement released Tuesday afternoon. “The summonses were issued by Magistrate Bob Rovegno. It is alleged that two separate incidents took place between Stewart and the two complainants named in the summonses; one taking place during a Franklin High School basketball game on the evening before and another via social media in the previous days. The complainants were advised by deputies, who were present in the gym providing security that they could go to the Sheriff’s Office website and file a formal complaint against Stewart and they could also go to the Magistrate’s office if they felt a crime had been committed.

This is because no crime occurred in the presence of the officers. Detective Stewart, who is to have allegedly committed the offenses described, was off-duty during both incidents.”

Because the circumstances fall under a personnel matter for Sheriff’s Office, details are limited regarding the incident and the alleged crimes. Sheriff Holland states, “I was made aware of the situation that night [Saturday] and have taken and will continue to take appropriate action. I have taken several steps to address this issue and have initiated an internal investigation into the allegations and will take any additional actions I deem necessary. Today I met with school officials and made them aware of what actions I have taken thus far and also informed them of what I was requiring of Detective Stewart. At the time of this press release, I have not received any formal complaints concerning the actions of Detective Stewart or any other officer that may have had contact with the complainants.”

According to the sworn affidavit on file at the courthouse, Kimberly Spies lodged a complaint with the magistrates office concerning Detective Stewart posting threatening messages to Spies’ 17-year-old son via her personal Facebook page. According to the affidavit, Spies alleges that Stewart took to social media to threaten her son “... accusing him of being in her house smoking with her daughter. My son explained that he has never been to her house and does not know where she lives and did not know why [Stewart's daughter] was saying things that never happened,” reads the affidavit. “Amy Stewart then stated that she did not care what happened or if he did it or not and he better watch his back.”

The affidavit goes on to say that Spies has documentation of the facebook message, which has been shown to both Officer Jay Wright and Franklin High School Principal Chris Baldwin. According to Spies' affidavit, her son, who is a member of the Franklin High School basketball team, had been approached by basketball coach Jessie Pinkston after Pinkston was contacted directly by Stewart on Jan. 1 in regards to information about his player.

According to Spies, her son was approached by Stewart's daughter during school on Jan. 1 saying “... she was sorry for dragging his name into her personal matter and she told her mother Amy Stewart that [my son] was not involved,” reads the court documents. “We thought the matter was resolved with all parties until Saturday 1/5/13 at the Franklin High School when another incident occurred with another family involving Amy Stewart communicating threats, which made me feel threatened for my son and my family.”

The other incident referred to by Spies is a complaint filed with the magistrates office by Anna Shields. According to Shields' sworn affidavit, “On January 5, 2013 while attending a varsity basketball game at Franklin High School gym, I was approached while sitting in the bleachers in front of my family, friends and students by Amy Stewart. She was very mad in her demeanor, pointing her finger at me saying that I had better keep her daughter's name out of my mouth.”

The court document, which is public record, goes on to say, “I told her that this was not the time or place and if she would call me we would set up an appointment and meet. She began getting more aggressive, continuing to point her finger and loudly stated I had better keep her daughter's name out of my mouth. I said are you threatening me? Amy said No, I'm not threatening you ... I am promising you.”

According to Shields' affidavit, she continued encouraging Stewart to contact her to establish an appropriate meeting to discuss the situation, but Stewart was not receptive of the offer. “I felt very threatened, embarrassed and humiliated in front of my peers, family, students and others,” reads Shields' statement.

Sheriff Holland stated, “While a crime has been alleged, in fairness to all parties involved I will not make any final decisions until a full investigation has been conducted. Meanwhile, Detective Stewart will remain an employee of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office and will be assigned to administrative duties until the conclusion of the investigation and until I make my final decision. Stewart has been an asset to the Sheriff’s Office and the citizens we serve. Just as any other individual, Stewart deserves a full and impartial investigation.”

Stewart is expected to appear in court on two separate dates for the offenses, one on Jan. 10 and the other on Jan. 24, 2013.





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published: 10/18/2013
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