Former Decatur Co. employees plead not guilty to theft, forgery charges


DECATURVILLE, Tenn. — Eight former Decatur County employees were formally charged Friday in Decaturville.

Attorneys representing seven of the eight former Decatur County employees now facing theft and forgery charges appeared before a judge on their behalf.

Former Decatur County Chief Deputy William Scott Cagle appeared in court without his attorney and pleaded not guilty to two counts of theft and two counts of forgery.

Attorneys also entered not guilty pleas for former Decatur County Mayor Michael Smith, his wife Doris H. Smith, former secretary Martha Graves, former Decatur County Solid Waste Director Robert W. Haynes, former Decatur County Emergency Management Agency Director James Kevin Cagle, former Decatur County Emergency Medical Services Director Mark Hayes, and former jail administrator Pamela Brasher.

Attorney Sam Hinson helps represent Hayes, Haynes and James Cagle. “Anybody charged with a crime is always innocent until proven guilty,” he said.

The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s office said the former county mayor paid himself more than $15,000 without authorization from county commissioners. Investigators said they also found several former county employees received a total of more than $38,000 they did not earn.

All eight defendants are scheduled to return to court Oct. 19 and again Nov. 16, according to attorneys.

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