The Monroe County deputy fired after being arrested on drug charges in Butts County on Friday had been with the sheriff’s office for six years most recently serving at T.G. Scott Elementary School.
Paul Stewart, 28, of Jackson, was arrested for possession of Lortab on Friday morning during a traffic stop in Butts County. Sheriff Brad Freeman said Stewart was wearing his Monroe County sheriff’s office baseball hat and SWAT T-shirt when he was arrested. Freeman said he was very disappointed when he got the call from Butts County sheriff Gary Long on Friday.
“You fight so hard to get the public’s trust and somebody like this messes up and betrays the trust of the community,” said Freeman. “It sets you back.”
Stewart had worked on patrol but became a school resource officer this past summer at T.G. Scott Elementary.
Freeman said Butts County deputies were doing a drug operation when they determined Stewart had bought some Lortab pills while driving his Dodge pickup truck. Bibb deputies pulled Stewart over, discovered the drugs and also noted his Monroe County sheriff’s hat and shirt.
Long called Freeman around 10 a.m. on Friday to tell him one of his guys was caught buying drugs. Freeman said he sent two investigators to Jackson immediately. The Monroe County deputies seized his sheriff’s office property and got permission to go to his home and seize his patrol car and other equipment. Stewart was told to be at the sheriff’s office at 9 a.m. Monday morning but didn’t show and has been terminated.
Freeman said Stewart had no major disciplinary issues while working at the sheriff’s office, from some minor issues about filling out his time card. Freeman said he has a wife and kids.
“It’s sad,” said Freeman, “but I’m not gonna tolerate it. We had six openings [for deputies], now we’ve got seven.”