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Lawrence County Sheriff's Office Chief of Staff refutes allegations of wrongdoing

Timothy McWhorter served as the custodian of evidence since 2007.
Timothy McWhorter served as the custodian of evidence since 2007.

Timothy McWhorter was placed on paid suspension on January 26, 2018.

Posted: Feb 2, 2018 6:35 AM
Updated: Feb 2, 2018 8:39 PM

A Lawrence County law enforcement officer said he requested an investigation of himself that resulted in his paid suspension.

Timothy McWhorter, chief of staff and operations for the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, was suspended effective January 26, 2018 per a letter from Sheriff Gene Mitchell.

In a statement released Thursday evening, McWhorter states that three weeks ago, his duties as custodian of evidence were transferred to the Chief Investigator per Mitchell's decision.

McWhorter had served in that role since 2007 when Mitchell first joined the sheriff's office.

Subsequent to that change, McWhorter said he learned the rationale for it was what he described as third party allegations of wrong doing.

In a letter to Mitchell dated Monday, January 22, 2018, McWhorter said the specifics of the allegations were not made known to him and that he had "never done anything intentionally inappropriate with evidence, or any other property while acting as the custodian of evidence."

McWhorter went on to say in his letter that there were rumors among others in the department that McWhorter was demoted from his position of chief of staff and that the situation was damaging his reputation both in the department as well as in the local law enforcement community.

In a statement issued on Thursday, McWhorter said Mitchell told him that McWhorter's integrity was not in question.

McWhorter used the January 22 letter to request an investigation in order to clear the air and his name from the allegations.

Mitchell granted that request, stating that McWhorter would be placed on paid suspension for the duration and he would need to return "all equipment to include vehicle, keys, commission card and all sheriff's department issued equipment."

An outside agency was requested to conduct the investigation, but Mitchell didn't elaborate in his letter which agency.''

On Friday, WAAY 31 spoke with McWhorter and he said he wasn't interested in commenting any further than his initial email. 

We also spoke with Sheriff Mitchell who said he was aware that a letter was sent to the media, but has no other comment at this time. 

On Tuesday, we submitted an open records request, requesting personnel files on McWhorter, but we have not recieved any word back.

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