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ACSD suspends, intends to fire corrections officer busted for DUI

A Powell man employed as a corrections officer with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department was arrested late last Saturday night on charges that included a first-offense DUI after Caryville Police spotted his vehicle driving in the wrong lane.

According to a report from the Caryville Police Department, Officer James McCall reported seeing a Chevy Equinox headed east in the westbound lane of Highway 25W near the bridge that crosses I-75 at around 11 pm Saturday. McCall turned around and activated his emergency lights, and the driver pulled over a short distance later near Dogwood Road.

McCall reported that he could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle and reported that the driver, identified as 31-year-old Charles Ivory Mays of Powell, had bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred speech. When asked for his ID, Mays gave McCall in ID card from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and his insurance card. He told the officer that he did not have his service weapon with him at the time, and also stated, “I’ve had very little to drink but I’m OK.” Despite that claim, he performed “unsatisfactorily” on several field sobriety tests, and was taken into custody.

When officers searched the Equinox, they found Mays’ loaded service weapon on the driver’s side floorboard, as well as a half-empty bottle of whiskey on the passenger side, and an “open, crushed” beer can on the floorboard of the SUV.

Mays was taken into custody on charges of DUI (First offense), possession of a firearm while intoxicated, and violating the open container law, and was also cited for failure to exercise due care.

Anderson County Sheriff Russell Barker said Friday that Mays has been placed on unpaid administrative leave and has been given a notification of intent to terminate his employment with the ACSD, which he has seven days to appeal. That notice was given to him on Wednesday, November 13th, at which time he was also stripped of his badge, gun and ID. Mays has a total of 10 days from the notice of intent to appeal the decision to the county’s Civil Service Board. This morning, Barker said it was unclear if Mays planned to appeal, but we will keep you updated as developments warrant.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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