Carter deputy cleared of charges; three promoted

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

STAR STAFF

   A Carter County Sheriff's Department officer charged in August by Sullivan County deputies with assaulting his wife has been cleared of any wrongdoing, according to Sheriff John Henson.
   DARE officer Sgt. Ken Dugger was placed on administrative leave pending outcome of the investigation, however, Henson said, "Everything has been dismissed. All of the paperwork, all of the channels have been followed through and he has been cleared and is back to work."
   Another deputy, Kevin Dugger, 28, Dry Hill Road, Butler, resigned in August after entering a plea agreement in General Sessions Court to a shoplifting charge. Dugger was accused of taking an ink pen from Wal-Mart. He received a $25 fine and 11 months, 29 days' probation through Crossroads.
   Three county officers recently were promoted from the rank of patrolman to sergeant following intensive interviews and testing, according to the sheriff. The promotions went into effect Friday.
   A review board made up of representatives from Elizabethton Police Department, the district attorney's office, public defender's office and other agencies questioned officers about situations they might find themselves in and how they would respond, according to the sheriff.
   No one from the sheriff's department sat on the review board, Henson said, "to be fair with everybody" and only officers who had been with the department at least six years were eligible.
   "There were six people took the test, and the three highest scores were Tim Lowe, (Patrick) Sean Johnson and Penny Cornett.
   "I feel like that was a good choice of the board and I have all the faith in the world that they can carry out the duties of sergeant," Henson said.