Veteran PCSD officer fired
On Monday, December 31 Sheriff Larry Mills was obviously distraught when approached about the news of his trusted deputy being fired. "It's a very bad thing. I hate it, but no one is above the law. Breaking the law cannot and will not be tolerated by anyone," he said.
Sheriff Mills issued a formal statement that same day that gave the details of the situation, with the exception of the name of the deputy involved. A source close to the Sheriff's office disclosed that the deputy was long time CID Officer John Stewart.
Here's what happened:
On December 28, a female inmate at the Poinsett County Detention Center accused Stewart of sexual misconduct. Sheriff Mills and Chief Deputy Brad Felkins interviewed the inmate Friday afternoon. Based on that interview, the Sheriff decided to make a full investigation of the allegations, so he contacted the Arkansas State Police and requested assistance.
A state police investigator and the Sheriff interviewed the inmate again on Saturday morning, December 29. It was decided by the Sheriff and the state police to execute a sting operation on Sunday, December 30.
Two state police investigators assisted Sheriff Mills in the sting operation and met at the Sheriff's office to establish surveillance.
The CID (Criminal Investigation Detective) officer was then terminated and the case file submitted to deputy prosecuting attorney, Carla Powell for review and possible criminal charges.
The name of the inmate also was not disclosed.